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New Report: Scenarios-Based Analysis for the Levant: Adaptive Technologies for Regional Climate-Related Security Risks

Today, the Center for Climate and Security, the International Military Council on Climate Security Expert Group, and adelphi released a new scenarios-based report on the Levant, Adaptive Technologies for Regional Climate-Related Security Risks, as part of the Weathering Risk project. 

This scenario-based analysis explores four possible future climate security scenarios for the Levant, in order to anticipate future risks and identify priority policy areas. It looks particularly at how different degrees of technological availability and international cooperation could lead to different outcomes in the region.

To better anticipate and respond to future risks, we convened regional experts using a scenario analysis method. The experts identified the most important and most uncertain or difficult to predict drivers of climate security risks in the Levant. From those, two were selected: technological availability and international cooperation. The interaction between these drivers at their extremes produces four future scenarios for the region based on the expected physical climate change effects.

The process of developing and analyzing these four scenarios highlighted the importance of state policy, governance, and cooperation as variables shaping states’ capacity to cope with climate change.

While the exercise did not identify significant new entry points for addressing regional governance or cooperation deficits, it did reveal that even in states with poor or absent governance and low levels of cooperation, societies may find ways of coping with adverse climate impacts if the means to adapt are readily available.

Our scenarios suggest that making small-scale adaptive technologies widely available may offer a path to increasing climate resilience in societies suffering from low cooperation and poor or even predatory governance.

To read the full report, please click here

A Threat to Ecological Security from Inter-Species Viral Distributions Driven by Climate Change

A scanning electron micrograph shows the Nipah virus (yellow) budding from the surface of a cell.

By Dr. Marc Kodack

Most of the security analysis on climate change effects has been focused on human systems and how people need to mitigate and adapt to those effects. However, these same effects will also create multiple opportunities for humans to become hosts for new pathogens, such as viruses, potentially significantly altering and disrupting both human systems and the ecosystems they are an integral member of (see here). A recently published study in Nature investigating how climate change is contributing to an increase in cross-species viral spread among mammals spotlights the criticality of incorporating ecological security into broader national security analyses.

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Last Year, the U.S. Intelligence Community Warned of a Coronavirus Pandemic: Will We Heed their Climate Warnings?

2019 Worldwide Threat AssessmentBy John Conger, Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell

In the absence of a public hearing and release of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s “Worldwide Threat Assessment” this year, it is instructive to look at last year’s assessment to see what the nation’s intelligence professionals were predicting. The following passage was particularly striking:

We assess that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or largescale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support. Although the international community has made tenuous improvements to global health security, these gains may be inadequate to address the challenge of what we anticipate will be more frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases because of rapid unplanned urbanization, prolonged humanitarian crises, human incursion into previously unsettled land, expansion of international travel and trade, and regional climate change.

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