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Pentagon: Climate Change a Threat to National Security 

29 major military bases and installations in Florida.

Climate Change in Florida
Climate Change Featured Image

The global threat of climate change poses a particular challenge for Florida. Because Florida is surrounded almost entirely by low-elevation coastline, sea-level rise is a concern for coastal ecosystems. A reasonable projection for global sea-level rise is three feet by 2100 (Mulkey 2007), which will certainly cause flooding and tremendous changes in coastal habitats. The Florida peninsula is also expected to become progressively more tropical as the frost-line moves northward.

Government agencies and conservation organizations have begun to address these issues but are hindered by the limitations of current data models. In 2007, Governor Charlie Crist established the Action Team on Energy and Climate Change, a committee charged with creating the Florida Climate Change Action Plan and developing strategies to combat climate change.

For more information on the potential environmental impact of climate change in Florida, visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Climate Changewebsite.

WASHINGTON – Global warming is turning up the heat on national security, according to the Pentagon. Factors that military strategists now have to consider include global food and water scarcity. These can lead to populations migrating, with all the potential conflicts that could create.

Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, said that preparing for climate change has become a constant concern.

"Although the effects of climate change alone do not cause conflict, they act as accelerants of instability, which influences our operating environment, roles and mission," she stated.

Hammack sees recent weather events as evidence of climate change, including the tornadoes in the midwest and Colorado wildfires.

She pointed out that the 12 hottest years on record have been within the last 15 years, and said extreme weather is also placing demands on the Defense Department itself.

"The Department of Defense needs to adjust to the impact climate change will have on our facilities, because our operational readiness hinges on continued access to land, air, sea training and test space," she said.

Hammack said there's a focus at DOD installations on using less water and power, in order to place less demand on resources also needed by the rest of their local communities - including the 29 major military bases and installations in Florida.  

Photos,links, and climate change box added by the Observer; Photo © Eric Zamora

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