Friday, September 16, 2016

Sea-level rise to radically affect military strategy, study says

Rising sea levels caused by climate change will present serious risks to military readiness, operations and strategy as America’s coastal installations become inundated in coming decades, according to a report by a panel of retired military officers.
Among the recommendations made in “Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military’s Mission,” released this week by The Center for Climate and Security, is a call to integrate climate-impact scenarios into the Department of Defense’s regular planning cycles.
The panel, composed of five retired flag officers representing all the services, is part of the non-partisan security and foreign policy institute based near Washington, D.C.
The report synthesized recent studies conducted by the DOD, Congress and independent researchers and then analyzed what those findings mean for the U.S. military’s future around the world.
“Essentially, the very geostrategic landscape in which the U.S. military operates is going to be different from what it is today,” the study said.
“To use military parlance, the theater is, in essence, flooding. Adjusting to that rapidly changing theater will be absolutely critical for the U.S. military to maintain its ability to fulfill its mission, and for the United States to adequately pursue its national security interests.”
Recent research has found that low-lying and exposed areas that contain coastal U.S. bases will be significantly affected, but by widely varying degrees.  more