Last month, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report indicating that 2017 is on track to be the second hottest year on record, falling just behind the record breaking temperatures of 2016. This ongoing study has been conducted over a sixth month period from January to June in order to calculate the average temperatures of the world’s land and ocean surfaces.
Although a little extra heat might not sound as dangerous or threatening as ISIS or North Korea, the United States military understands that rising global temperatures is one of the most dangerous threats our country faces today.
Rising temperatures, like the ones we are experiencing this year, are only one of the many harmful effects caused by climate change. Climate change also means rising sea-levels, rapidly melting ice caps, more frequent and severe weather events, and longer periods of drought. Many of these effects pose serious danger to the most vulnerable populations around the world, considering that the effects of climate change make already bad situations even worse. The military, therefore, refers to climate change as a “threat multiplier,” as well as recognizes it as a deterrent to mission readiness and a risk to the lives of our servicemembers.
Just this past June, the world experienced the third highest temperature for the month of June since 1880. The extreme heat resulted in drier climates in much of South America and Africa, potentially threatening crop production. Then in July, the world witnessed one of the biggest icebergs on record break off Antarctica. Melting ice caps not only can lead to an increase in sea levels over time, but also pose a great threat to international trade routes.
Around the same time that June’s temperatures were reaching global records, the Trump Administration made a devastating decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement. This decision directly contradicts the military’s mindset to prepare and respond to climate change. We cannot allow this administration to undermine the military’s mission to defend and protect the American people from all threats.
For our Operation Free supporters looking to take another step, there is something more you can do.You can still join the #ImStillIn petition and declare your commitment to the Paris Agreement! Not only does your signature indicate your support for the rest of the global community, but also for our men and women in uniform who risk their lives to protect our way of life.