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Release:  CCS Applauds Choice of Rear Admiral Phillips as Virginia’s Coastal Resilience Lead

Ann Phillips 2017Washington, DC – The Center for Climate and Security applauds the choice of Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, United States Navy (retired) to lead Virginia’s climate resilience efforts. Admiral Phillips will serve in a cabinet-level position as Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection. Admiral Phillips is a distinguished member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board, and has been a leading voice on the risks climate change poses to both military and civilian communities, particularly along the southeastern coast. Before joining the Center, she served for 31 years in the U.S. Navy, including as Commander of Destroyer Squadron TWO EIGHT and Expeditionary Strike Group TWO, as Senior Fellow on the Chief of Naval Operation’s Strategic Studies Group XXVIII, as Deputy Director and Director of the Surface Warfare Division, and as Co-Chair of the Surface Force Working Group in the Navy’s Climate Change Task Force and Energy Task Force.

In response to the announcement, senior national security and defense leaders from the Center for Climate and Security applauded the appointment. See their statements below. (more…)

Hurricane Florence’s Impacts on Military Installations and Missions in the Southeast

Fort Bragg Hurricane Florence

U.S. Army personnel head out from Fort Bragg to provide aid to North Carolinians flooded by Hurricane Florence, Sept. 15, 2018. ANDREW MCNEIL/U.S. ARMY

By John Conger

When it comes to climate change, there are some issues (sea level rise, Arctic ice melt) which it doesn’t take a science degree to get one’s head around.  Extreme weather, on the other hand, is highly complex and there isn’t always a simple way to characterize changes in a way that doesn’t spur debate.

Nonetheless, it is widely acknowledged by scientists, based on decades of rainfall data, that climate change is significantly increasing the frequency of weather events that deliver extreme rainfall, such as hurricane Florence. And what’s entirely beyond debate is that in addition to the climate risks civilian populations and infrastructure faces in the region, the Department of Defense has multiple important installations in areas that are vulnerable to extreme rainfall events, and Hurricane Florence just slammed into several of them.   (more…)

Event Report: Climate and Security from the Arctic to Virginia

Coast_Guard_participates_in_joint_Arctic_search_and_rescue_exercise_150714-G-YE680-576

Coast Guard participates in joint Arctic search and rescue exercise. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant DeVuyst

The Time for “What’s Next?” is Now: Preparing for a Climate Changed Future Within our Military and Coastal Communities
By Madeleine Terry, Elizabeth Andrews and Heather Messera

The widespread effects of Arctic melting and climate change on our society and overall well-being are relatively well understood today, but what about the effects of climate change on national security? Unbeknownst to many, the impact of sea level rise on our country’s national security infrastructure is concerning now and becoming more threatening every day. On Monday, July 9, 2018, The Center for Climate and Security , the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William & Mary (W&M) Law School, and the W&M Whole of Government Center of Excellence held a forum on preparing for this climate changed future, addressing the impacts that climate change will have on our military and coastal communities and national security efforts as a whole.

Read the full article in the Small Wars Journal here.

Release: Political and Military Leaders Demonstrate Bipartisan Agreement on Preparing Virginia for Climate Change Threats

Agenda Image_2018_07_09Event: 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…)

New BRIEFER: Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Military’s Battle Against Sea Level Rise

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) departs Naval Station Norfolk ahead of Hurricane Irene. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde

The Center for Climate and Security’s Virginia Fellow, Matt Connolly, writes about the challenges the Hampton Roads region and its U.S. military infrastructure are facing in a new briefer titled: “Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Military’s Battle Against Sea Level Rise.” For the full briefer, click here. For a summary, see below.

Summary and Key Points: Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Military’s Battle Against Sea Level Rise  (more…)

Military leaders: rising sea level a threat to Virginia-North Carolina

120620-N-RY232-371Last Monday, a sobering panel discussion was held in Norfolk, Virginia regarding the threat posed by sea level rise to both national security, and the Hampton Roads region – an area which comprises Virginia Beach, Norfolk-Newport News, and the Virginia-North Carolina metropolitan area. The panel consisted of U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Philip Cullom, Admiral Larry Baucom, USN (ret), Captain Joe Bouchard, USN (ret.), Jonathan Powers, Iraq war veteran and the White House’s Federal Environmental Executive, and Ben McFarlane of the Hampton Roads Planning Commission. (more…)

U.S. Drought Worsens

Parched_ground_-_Flickr_-_Al_Jazeera_EnglishClimate Central’s Andrew Freedman recently reported on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest numbers, which reveal that “all categories of drought increased across the country between Nov. 20-27, with the largest increase occurring in an area from Alabama northeastward to Virginia.” Freedman also reports on a recent statement by Deutsche Bank Securities’ chief U.S. economist, Joseph LaVorgna, who predicted that “the drought will be responsible for a 0.5 to 1 percent drop in U.S. gross domestic product this year, a significant drop considering the relatively slow pace of growth throughout the year.”

Also, as we have written previously, the drought may have worrying security implications for other countries that are tied to the U.S. through the global food market. And given that a number of these countries have themselves experienced major droughts recently (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Spain, Argentina), this prolonged U.S. drought could have serious global consequences.