Mark Nevitt, retired Commander in the Unites States Navy and Truman National Security Project Defense Council Member, discusses how the military should begin planning for the threats posed by climate change in an article for Just Security. 

“Climate change has been described as the world’s greatest environmental threat. But it is also increasingly understood as a national security threat, that serves as both a “threat multiplier,” and “catalyst for conflict.” Plus, its national security effects are multidimensional, without geographic or spatial limitations. At the North Pole, it is rapidly melting ice sheets, opening shipping lanes, and renewing the potential for natural resource extraction. In sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, climate change is causing more intense droughts, impairing already unstable areas and forcing climate refugees to leave their homes. At the South Pole, an ice chunk the size of Delaware recently broke away from the continent of Antarctica, creating uncertainty about massive future environmental degradation.”

“In light of climate change’s sheer complexity, how should the world’s militaries begin to prepare for its national security threats? As I have previously argued, climate change will impact the security environment and the militaries of the world in three fundamental ways, which I frame as follows…”

Read the full article here. Views expressed are his own.