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Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Trends and Implications of Climate Change on National and International Security

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Final rept.

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Changes in climate patterns and their impact on the physical environment can create profound effects on populations in parts of the world and present new challenges to global security and stability. Failure to anticipate and mitigate these changes increases the threat of more failed states with the instabilities and potential for conflict inherent in such failures. This report begins with an overview of the impacts of climate change over recent decades while recognizing uncertainty about the pace of future changes. It examines the political consequences of climate change as it relates to national and international security, with special attention to the African continent due to the vulnerability of African nations. The study examined the roles of the Department of Defense and the national security community in responding to effects of climate change in both the United States and in key areas of the globe. The deliberations of the task force identified the urgent need for clear roles and policies throughout the U.S. government addressing the consequences of climate change and produced a set of recommendations on how the U.S. government can manage the near-term effects on populations and the longer-term need for adaptation that impacts U.S. and international security interests. The recommendations include specific roles for the Department of Defense in helping both the United States and U.S. Africa Command address these challenges. The recommendations fall into five main areas 1 The need for developing a robust climate information system 2 Instituting water security as a core element of DoD strategy 3 Roles of the national security community, including the intelligence community, the Department of State, and the White House 4 Guidance and DoD organization to address the full range of international climate change-related issues and their impact on the evolution of DoD s missions and 5 Combatant command roles, responsibilities, and capacities.

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  • Meteorology
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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