DISCUSSION National security risk : climate change

by Yolanda Villafuerte _______16th November 2012

The National Research Council’s report Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis recommends policy actions and further research to create a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to understanding of the link between climate and security, and to inform choices about how to adapt and reduce a nation’s vulnerability to climate change.

In this study, ‘climate change’ includes climate variability because extreme events caused by climate variability are expected to become more frequent with climate change.

The NRC report states its task as to ‘evaluate the evidence on possible connections between climate change and U.S. national security concerns and to identify ways to increase the ability of the intelligence community to take climate change into account in assessing political and social stresses with implications for U.S. national security’.

The report analyses existing evidence and identifies the key factors that link climate change events to security concerns. It provides a conceptual framework that considers the risks resulting for climate events based on the exposures of people, places, life-supporting systems, vulnerability to these events and the political and social stresses with implications for U.S. national security.

Critically, it offers conclusions and recommendations on


Please visit The National Academies Press website for a copy of the report.

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