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Department of Defense Notes Strategic Importance of Climate Change

In a report released on February 1, 2010 the Department of Defense outlined strategic issues related to Climate Change. The Quadrennial Defense Review of the Department of Defense devotes a section to the potential security impacts of Climate Change.

The report notes in part:

“Climate change will affect DoD in two broad ways. First, climate change will shape the operating environment, roles, and missions that we undertake. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, composed of 13 federal agencies, reported in 2009 that climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the United States and its coastal waters….While climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world. In addition, extreme weather events may lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response both within the United States and overseas.”