While U.S. politicians continue to disagree on global warming and its potentially catastrophic consequences, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has just released a report saying climate change will have serious implications for national security.
“Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict,” Hagel said in the introduction to the report — Department of Defense: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap.
“They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.”
Hagel said the U.S. military refers to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of today’s challenges – from infectious disease to terrorism.
He also said a changing climate will have significant impacts on the military and the way it executes its missions, including supporting civil authorities and providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the face of more frequent and more intense natural disasters.