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Release: Political and Military Leaders Demonstrate Bipartisan Agreement on Preparing Virginia for Climate Change Threats
Event: Preparing for a Climate Changed Future: Navigating the Impacts on our Military and Coastal Communities
Date: July 9, 2018
Time: 10:00am-2pm (Livestream available here)
Location: William & Mary, Sadler Center, Williamsburg, VA
Hosts: The Center for Climate and Security, the William & Mary Virginia Coastal Policy Center, and the William & Mary Whole of Government Center of Excellence
Agenda and Speakers: Here.
Williamsburg, VA – The effects of climate change on national security are already being felt directly by civilians and military forces stationed in coastal Virginia. This unavoidable reality has brought together civilian and military communities in the commonwealth, as well as Republican and Democratic policy-makers, to urgently discuss solutions at an event in Williamsburg, VA today, convened by the Center for Climate and Security, the William & Mary Virginia Coastal Policy Center, and the William & Mary Whole of Government Center of Excellence. (more…)
Old Dominion University (ODU) recently hosted a Preparedness and Resilience Exercise for Hampton Roads. The event was led by the National Security Council with support from the FEMA National Exercise Division, and used a scenario exercise tailored to the region and designed to reinforce “work already underway locally on sea level rise, extreme storm surge and recurrent flooding.” The exercise included participation from local, state and federal government, private businesses, academic and community partners.
On a related note, Captain Ray Toll, USN (Ret) and CCS Advisory Board member, Rear Admiral David Titley, USN (Ret), wrote an Op-ed in the Virginian Pilot titled “The threat in Hampton Roads.” The Op-ed includes points brought up during the Dec. 2 exercise at ODU. (more…)
U.S. naval installations are built at sea level. Sea level rise, therefore, leads to an increasing set of complications for these installations. You don’t have to look further than Norfolk, Virginia to see this reality playing out.
Sea level rise also potentially adds another level of stress to already intense weather events like Typhoon Haiyan. Data from the World Meteorological Organization shows that this is an especially problematic situation in the Philippines: “One tidal gauge at Legaspi in the Philippines showed a rise of 35 cms (14 inches) in average sea levels from 1950-2010, against a global average of 10 cms.” (more…)
A recent study published in Nature Climate Change has found that the East Coast of the United States is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. Compared to the global average, the study by Sallenger et al asserts that the coastline from Massachusetts to North Carolina is set to experience a rise in sea level that is “3–4 times higher…” Given the prevalence of key commercial centers along the East Coast, as well as critical naval installations (such as at Norfolk, Virginia), these projections are worrying, to say the least.
The Washington Post ran a worrying piece this past Sunday on the danger sea level rise already poses to Virginia’s second largest city, Norfolk. The city is a commercial and entertainment hub, and is also home to a naval base that hosts the “only shipyards in the nation capable of building aircraft carriers.” While sea level rise will affect coastal communities across America differently, and most communities will not likely be overtly affected for another 30 years, the phenomenon is a warning to communities across the coastal United States, as well as the federal government, to invest in climate-proofing coastal infrastructure. For more on the projected costs of climate change to U.S. states, see the American Security Project’s interactive state-by-state assessment, Pay Now, Pay Later.