Increasingly frequent extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, severe storms, and heat waves have focused the attention of climate scientists on the connections between greenhouse warming and extreme weather. Because of the potential threat to U.S. national security, a new study was conducted to explore the forces driving extreme weather events and their impacts over the next decade, specifically with regard to their implications for national security planning.
The report finds that the early ramifications of climate extremes resulting from climate change are already upon us and will continue to be felt over the next decade, directly impacting U.S. national security interests. "Lessons from the past are no longer of great value as a guide to the future," said co-lead author Michael McElroy, Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies at Harvard University. "Unexpected changes in regional weather are likely to define the new climate normal, and we are not prepared."
Changes in extremes include more record high temperatures; fewer but stronger tropical cyclones; wider areas of drought and increases in precipitation; increased climate variability; Arctic warming and attendant impacts; and continued sea level rise as greenhouse warming continues and even accelerates. These changes will affect water and food availability, energy decisions, the design of critical infrastructure, use of the global commons such as the oceans and the Arctic region, and critical ecosystem resources. They will affect both underdeveloped and industrialized countries with large costs in terms of economic and human security. The study identifies specific regional climate impacts—droughts and desertification in Mexico, Southwest Asia, and the Eastern Mediterranean, and increased flooding in South Asia—that are of particular strategic importance to the United States.
The report concludes that the risks related to extreme weather require that the U.S. sustain and augment its scientific and technical capacity to observe key indicators, monitor unfolding events, and forewarn of impending security threats as nations adapt to a changing climate. The study recommends a national strategy for strategic observations and monitoring— including greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, ocean temperatures, and satellite observations of the Arctic—and improved forecast models. "Our critical observational infrastructure is at risk from declining funding," added co-lead author D. James Baker, Director of the Global Carbon Measurement Program at the William J. Clinton Foundation and former Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "Without that knowledge, the needs of civil society and national security for mitigation and adaptation will go unmet."
The report grew out of a series of workshops with an international group of leading climate scientists held at the National Academy of Sciences, Columbia University, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment. The study was conducted with funds provided by the Central Intelligence Agency. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the CIA or the U.S. Government.
Michael McElroy is the Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies at Harvard University with a joint appointment in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is a faculty associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. He studies changes in the composition of the atmosphere with an emphasis on the impact of human activity. His research includes investigations of processes affecting the abundance of ozone in the stratosphere and factors influencing the chemical composition of the troposphere. It explores the manner in which changes in the composition of the atmosphere affect climate. His research also addresses challenges for public policy posed by the rapid pace of industrialization in developing countries such as China and India while exploring alternative strategies for more sustainable development in mature economies such as the United States. Email: email@example.com; Telephone: 617-495-4359
D. James Baker, is Director, Global Carbon Measurement Program at the William J. Clinton Foundation, working with forestry programs in developing countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and alleviate poverty. He served as Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Clinton administration. He is also a a member of the U.S. Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests and of the Technical Advisory Panel for the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. He is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania and at the University of Delaware. He has more than 100 scientific publications and is the author of the book Planet Earth: The View from Space, published by Harvard University Press. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone: 215-939-2021
Download the full "Climate Extremes: Recent Trends with Implications for National Security" report at www.environment.harvard.edu/climate-extremes
Michael McElroy | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Administrator > Applied Science > Arctic Ocean > Atmospheric Administration > Carbon > Climate change > Earth's magnetic field > Environment > Gates Foundation > Oceanic > Science TV > Telephone support > developing countries > environmental risk > extreme weather > extreme weather events > greenhouse warming > measurement > national security > ocean temperature > tropical cyclone
A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core
24.05.2018 | University of Washington
Tropical Peat Swamps: Restoration of Endangered Carbon Reservoirs
24.05.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)
Je mehr die Elektronik Autos lenkt, beschleunigt und bremst, desto wichtiger wird der Schutz vor Cyber-Angriffen. Deshalb erarbeiten 15 Partner aus Industrie und Wissenschaft in den kommenden drei Jahren neue Ansätze für die IT-Sicherheit im selbstfahrenden Auto. Das Verbundvorhaben unter dem Namen „Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) wird durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung mit 7,2 Millionen Euro gefördert. Infineon leitet das Projekt.
Bereits heute bieten Fahrzeuge vielfältige Kommunikationsschnittstellen und immer mehr automatisierte Fahrfunktionen, wie beispielsweise Abstands- und...
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
Einem Forscherteam unter Führung von Physikern der Technischen Universität München (TUM) ist es gelungen, spezielle Moleküle mit einer angelegten Spannung zwischen zwei strukturell unterschiedlichen Zuständen hin und her zu schalten. Derartige Nano-Schalter könnten Basis für neuartige Bauelemente sein, die auf Silizium basierende Komponenten durch organische Moleküle ersetzen.
Die Entwicklung neuer elektronischer Technologien fordert eine ständige Verkleinerung funktioneller Komponenten. Physikern der TU München ist es im Rahmen...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
Die Satellitenmission GRACE-FO ist gestartet. Am 22. Mai um 21.47 Uhr (MESZ) hoben die beiden Satelliten des GFZ und der NASA an Bord einer Falcon-9-Rakete von der Vandenberg Air Force Base (Kalifornien) ab und wurden in eine polare Umlaufbahn gebracht. Dort nehmen sie in den kommenden Monaten ihre endgültige Position ein. Die NASA meldete 30 Minuten später, dass der Kontakt zu den Satelliten in ihrem Zielorbit erfolgreich hergestellt wurde. GRACE Follow-On wird das Erdschwerefeld und dessen räumliche und zeitliche Variationen sehr genau vermessen. Sie ermöglicht damit präzise Aussagen zum globalen Wandel, insbesondere zu Änderungen im Wasserhaushalt, etwa dem Verlust von Eismassen.
Potsdam, 22. Mai 2018: Die deutsch-amerikanische Satellitenmission GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment Follow On) ist erfolgreich gestartet. Am...
25.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen
24.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen
22.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen
25.05.2018 | Unternehmensmeldung
25.05.2018 | Interdisziplinäre Forschung
25.05.2018 | Informationstechnologie