Climate Impact on National Security (CINS): Report

The impacts of climate change, such as increased flooding of coastal military installations related to sea level rise and intense storms, present significant risks to U.S. military readiness, operations, and strategy. State-of-the-art modeling and analyses of historical and current observational data strongly support a conclusion that climate conditions will continue to deteriorate, and that the rate of change will accelerate over time. These changes will adversely affect the geostrategic landscape in which the U.S. military operates (e.g., the South China Sea, the Arctic, and other strategic waterways).

To discount or underestimate this risk in formulating and implementing national security policies and strategies would be short-sighted and an error of enormous consequence, especially with respect to the nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to disasters. As with other more traditional strategic risks, the risks associated with a changing climate should inform our national and international security plans, policies, and decisions.