The phrase “climate change” typically conjures up images of drowning polar bears, melting icebergs, and eroding beaches. But did you know climate change may have been instrumental in the political instability that lead to the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram? At a roundtable discussion presented by House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) and Vice Ranking Member Don Beyer (VA-8), scientists, military experts, and international specialists described the ever-growing threat of climate change to national security. Committee members were present to voice their strong support for climate science funding and coastal resiliency.
When most people enter a hiking trail with several days’ worth of food, they’re at the start of a camping adventure. For residents of Big Sur, California, they’re making one of many weekly trips back from the grocery store. Four months ago, a mudslide collapsed a bridge, making the small hiking path the only access to the outside world for much of Big Sur.
What do harmful algal blooms (HABs), the U.S. Coast Guard, and shark fins have in common? Last Thursday, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved by voice vote bills impacting each of them.
In a world where terrorism and nuclear arms races abound, many Americans don’t link climate change and national security. However, military leaders want you to know that changing climate conditions do pose a threat to our nation -- as they acknowledged in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review -- and that we can’t prepare properly for its effects without knowing more about the ocean and atmosphere. In a joint briefing Thursday held by the Center for Climate Security and the American Security Project, “Climate Change and the Risks to National Security,” senior military and national security experts Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, USN (Ret.), Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret.), and Brigadier General David McGinnis, USA (Ret.) discussed how climate change effectively alters the environment in which the military operates.
During a cruise to see the Statue of Liberty on a trip to “The City That Never Sleeps,” you might be surprised to learn that over three million cargo containers traverse those same waters to the Port of New York and New Jersey every year. Ports are part of our nation’s surface infrastructure, which also includes railways, pipelines, and tunnels. The Senate Commerce, Scienceand Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security held a hearing to discuss the security of our nation’s critical transportation infrastructure.
The leaders of 29 science organizations are urging President-elect Donald Trump to meet with them and quickly appoint a science adviser. Signers of the new Trump letter include most major science groups, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Geophysical Union. Appointment of an adviser would help the president-elect analyze effective ways to use science and technology to address national challenges, the leaders said.
Imagine Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world, complete with fourteen piers and eleven aircraft hangars, submerged by seawater. That scenario is not far from reality -- Norfolk is located in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, which has seen the highest rates of sea level rise along the eastern coast of the U.S. Its vulnerable location and vital importance to the nation made the area an ideal pilot project, born out of President Obama’s 2013 executive order for the U.S. to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The two-year Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Project (IPP) was launched in 2014 and headed by Old Dominion University.
Starving polar bears and bleached coral reefs are often the face of climate change today, but what many people do not realize is that climate change also threatens national security. Members of the U.S. national security community have been studying the impacts of climate change, namely sea level rise, and the associated threats to our military installations and missions. The results of their studies were compiled into three reports that were discussed at this week’s first annual Climate and National Security Forum. The forum consisted of three panels with several authors from each report serving on the respective panels.
When the 1,000-year-flood event hit south Louisiana last month, an estimated 60,000 structures were damaged, including those both inside and outside of the flood zone. In a hearing last week, Representative John Mica (FL-07) noted that 80 percent of homeowners did not have flood insurance because, based on maps produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), they were not in areas that were considered vulnerable to flooding. These floodmaps are in urgent need of updating and were the focus of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing to review the recommendations of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council’s (TMAC) 2015 Annual Report for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
(Click to enlarge) Coast Guardsmen use a flat-bottom boat to assist residents during severe flooding around Baton Rouge, LA on Aug. 14, 2016. (Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles/Coast Guard) The storm with no name that hit south Louisiana from 8 to 14 August was a 1,000-year-storm event (one that has a [...]
At a hearing in front of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, the discussion centered not only the need to build more submarines but on the technological advances that will be required.
Oceans month 2016 saw the reauthorization of the Freedom of Information Act become law, defense appropriations and COMPETES reauthorization advance, and a number of ocean-related bills be introduced in the House and Senate.