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Climate Change in the 2015 World Wide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community

James_R._Clapper_official_portraitOn February 26, 2015, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper presented the World Wide Threat Assessment for the US Intelligence Community Statement for the Record to the Senate Armed Services Committee. A significant portion of the assessment highlighted risks associated with the impact of climate-exacerbated extreme weather events on global food and water security (see below for those excerpts). The assessment also looked at how climate change is a factor in increasing human security risks related to infectious diseases. (more…)

Brazil: Water Woes, Climate Change and Security

Brazil_dry earth in Ibirapuera Park Sao PauloBy Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Ret)
Senior Research Fellow, the Center for Climate and Security

In restaurants across South America’s largest and most populous city, Sao Paulo, customers are being served drinks and meals on plastic cups and plates. The reason? A severe shortage of clean water, exacerbated by drought, means there’s no water for washing dishes. A burgeoning urban population and the effects of climate change are likely to exacerbate Brazil’s water woes. And given Brazil’s evolving role on the international stage, as an agricultural giant and a standard-bearer for a group of emerging economies, this will have both domestic and international security implications. (more…)

New “Water Security” Four-Volume Set

Water_distribution_in_Horn_of_AfricaSage Publications is offering Water Security: Four-Volume Set edited by Anders Jägerskog, Stockholm International Water Institute, Ashok Swain, Uppsala University, Joakim Öjendal University of Gothenburg, with contributions from some of the best water minds out there (it’s pricey, but very good). Given the severe drought in California, the floods on the U.S.-Canada border, and the precarious situation of water control in Iraq, there are bound to be timely and interesting articles within the set. In addition to these volumes, we’d recommend researching the contributing authors, as many of their other writings are available online and worth a read.

Water security, and specifically water security in the context of a changing climate, is a critical issue that deserves more attention in both the research and policy fields. These volumes are an important contribution in this space.




Lebanon on the brink of a resource crisis?

LebanonCampsSyrianBorderThis is a guest post by Joanne Lucas

Now that summer is on its way, Lebanon is bracing itself for a severe drought that will negatively impact food and water security. A few factors combined will likely create severe problems this summer, as temperatures start to rise. First, Lebanon has had a record dry winter. As the country relies on wet winters for most of its precipitation, this is a real problem. The average precipitation from December to March is around 812 mm, while this season only 413 mm has fallen, almost half of the average. Not only has the rain stayed away, but a significant influx of Syrian refugees into the country is increasing demand for water and food. There are now over a million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, which equals one quarter of the resident population (specifically, there are 220 Syrian refugees for every 1,000 Lebanese residents). (more…)

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