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Interview with Rear Admiral Ann Phillips on Climate and Security: “You’re the Future. No Pressure!”

Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, US Navy (Ret)

This interview is part of a series in which Center for Climate and Security (CSS) and Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) interns interview members of the CCS and CSR Advisory Boards and other key voices in the climate and security field. Vanessa Pinney interviewed Ann Phillips, member of the CCS Advisory Board and the CSR Governing Board, a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, and the first female Director of Surface Warfare in the Pentagon, who currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Governor of Virginia for Coastal Adaptation and Protection – a Cabinet position. The responses have been edited for length and clarity.


Increased High Tide Flooding Threatens Coastal Security in the US


Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West)

By Dr. Marc Kodack

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently published its latest outlook for high tide flooding in the United States, which covers the period May 2020-to-April 2021. According to the report, the increases in coastal flooding described in last year’s report will continue with even greater frequency as sea levels rise. U.S. Department of Defense coastal installations will continue to be affected, such as those in San Diego and Norfolk. High tide flooding is non-linearly accelerating along the east and Gulf coasts, whereas it is linearly increasing elsewhere. For all these coastal locations the extent and frequency of high tide flooding is projected to continue to increase over the coming decades. (more…)

Depopulating Military Installations Because of Sea Level Rise


The GAO’s Washington, DC Headquarters

By Dr. Marc Kodack

In case you missed it, an audit of the U.S. Department of Defense’s installation climate resilience from last year, conducted by the Government Accountability Office, found that “installations have not consistently assessed risks from extreme weather and climate change effects or consistently used projections to anticipate future climate conditions.” One of those conditions is sea level rise that will affect multiple coastal installations (see here and here). Sea level rise will not only affect the physical infrastructure on these installations, it will also potentially lead to the inland migration of portions of the populations who live in the surrounding communities – some of whom form part of an installation’s work force. Depending on how far away and how many  migrants move, their loss will degrade an installation’s ability to continue to function at an acceptable level over time. (more…)

The Center for Climate and Security on Climate One: Migration and Resilience

Francesco Femia_2013SherriGoodman2018Hill_AliceIn case you missed it, the team of Center for Climate and Security (CCS) analysts has featured significantly in recent episodes of the excellent Climate One, a free radio program that is “broadcast on 90 public radio stations across the country and around the world, including on NPR International, Armed Forces Radio and SiriusXM.” This included a February 7 interview on climate change, migration and security with CCS Co-Founder, Francesco Femia, and another program on climate resilience and security, released on February 14, featuring CCS Senior Strategist Sherri Goodman, and CCS Advisory Board Member, Alice Hill. Click the links above to either listen to the full programs, or read the transcripts. Below are a few excerpts from the interviews. (more…)

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