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UNCLASSIFIED 1 Climate Change Impact on National Security Rich Engel Maj Gen USAF (Ret.) Director, Climate Change and State Stability Program National.

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Presentation on theme: "UNCLASSIFIED 1 Climate Change Impact on National Security Rich Engel Maj Gen USAF (Ret.) Director, Climate Change and State Stability Program National."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNCLASSIFIED 1 Climate Change Impact on National Security Rich Engel Maj Gen USAF (Ret.) Director, Climate Change and State Stability Program National Intelligence Council This Briefing is UNCLASSIFIED Rev 1a

2 UNCLASSIFIED 2 Overview Objective National Intelligence Priorities Framework National Intelligence Assessment –Outreach Efforts –Scope Note –Our Process –Summary Observations The Arctic –National Intelligence Assessment –NIC 2025 Assessment Planned Follow-On Research Challenges for the Intelligence Community –Process Perspective –(Draft) Wish List –Final Thoughts

3 UNCLASSIFIED 3 Objective To provide Insights: From a National Intelligence Assessment (NIA) on the national security ramifications of global climate change, and from the NIC’s Global Trends 2025, on the significance of an opening Arctic Into the plans and challenges of the Intelligence Community (IC) related to climate change research. (U)

4 UNCLASSIFIED 4 National Intelligence Priorities Framework Environment and Natural Resources Definition: Production, development, transport, and consumption of strategic natural resources—excluding energy resources—critical to the economy and/or associated with production of militarily significant items. Access to water supplies to sustain national economies. Production, release, illicit sale and disposal of pollutants and hazardous materials including their potential human health effects. Compliance with international environmental or resource sharing agreements. Activity impacting international oceanic and atmospheric environments, including activities in space. Policies and positions of state and non-state actors relative to environmental and resource issues. Indications and warning of environmental warfare, crime or “ecoterrorism” or attacks against critical infrastructure— excluding energy—and water production, transport and distribution facilities. Physical environment conditions including weather, climate, geography, terrain, and urbanization. (U)

5 UNCLASSIFIED 5 National Intelligence Assessment Outreach Efforts Joint Global Change Research Institute –Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change –Current Peer Reviewed Literature US Climate Change Research Program Center for Naval Analysis Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University RAND Corporation Global Business Network Arizona State University Naval Post Graduate School Center for Strategic and International Studies Center for New American Security (U)

6 UNCLASSIFIED 6 National Intelligence Assessment Scope Note This National Intelligence Assessment focuses on the implications of global climate change for US national security interests by 2030. (U) The Intelligence Community does not evaluate the science of climate change per se, nor do we independently analyze what the underlying drivers of climate change are or to what degree climate change will occur. –Instead, the Intelligence Community is reliant for this Assessment upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other peer-reviewed or contracted research for projections of climate change and its impacts. (U)

7 UNCLASSIFIED 7 National Intelligence Assessment Our Process Research Develop a Scientific Scene Setter Request State Specific Data –Climate Vulnerability –Water Scarcity –Sea Level Rise External Conference w/ Regional Experts –Science Scene Setter –IPCC WG II Technical Summary –Sections of the State Specific Data –Extracts on Agricultural Impacts Review the Reports from Regional Experts Craft the Document Coordinate within the Intelligence Community

8 UNCLASSIFIED 8 National Intelligence Assessment Summary Observations Overall we judge that global climate change will have wide- ranging implications for US national security interests over the next 20 years because it will aggravate existing problems—such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions—that threaten state stability. –However, climate change alone is highly unlikely to trigger failure in any state out to 2030 but it will potentially contribute to intra- or, less likely, interstate conflict, possibly over access to scarce water resources. –We judge that economic migrants will perceive additional reasons to migrate because of harsh climates, both within nations and from disadvantaged into richer countries. (U)

9 UNCLASSIFIED 9 National Intelligence Assessment Summary Observations The United States will be less affected and better equipped than the vast majority of nations to deal with climate change, and may even enjoy a slight net benefit from climate change over the next few decades largely due to increased agricultural yield; however, infrastructure repair and replacement, emissions mitigation, and emergency response will be costly. Impacts on other states will vary: –Sub-Saharan Africa, because of its limited coping capacity is the most vulnerable region to the impact of climate change, with resulting challenges to its economic development and political stability. For Africa in general, higher rainfall anomalies and more intense and widespread droughts are projected. Climate change probably will cause agricultural losses of up to 50 percent for some rain fed grain crops in some North African countries. (U)

10 UNCLASSIFIED 10 National Intelligence Assessment Summary Observations To summarize, we observed three principle paths through which climate change would adversely impact national security –Changes in water availability which in turn would force migration of people first within states then potentially between states –Changes in agriculture productivity caused by a combination of climate factors (temperature, precipitation) that would likewise motivate people to move In both of these cases the movements themselves may or may not be significant to state stability and hence US security interests, it will depend upon local circumstances. –Damages to economically significant infrastructure from extreme weather events. (U)

11 UNCLASSIFIED 11 The Arctic NIA Assessment Estimates vary as to when the Arctic is likely to be “ice free” –Seasonally adjusted by 2060 according to National Snow and Ice Center –More current research suggests as soon as ~ 2015 Key benefits of an open Arctic –Improved access to energy –Improved access to mineral resources –Potentially shorter maritime shipping routes –Other strategic considerations Arctic as an area for Naval Operations Northern borders requiring more Homeland Security defense Access to different Fisheries Risk of environmental degradation (U)

12 UNCLASSIFIED 12 The Arctic NIA Assessment Shorter Maritime Routes –The Northern Sea Route – above Russia between the North Atlantic and North Pacific Trims 5000 miles and a week off a journey through the Suez Canal –Voyage between Europe and Asia through the Canada’s Northwest Passage Trims 4000 miles off a journey through the Panama Canal (U)

13 UNCLASSIFIED 13 The Arctic NIC 2025 Assessment Resource and shipping benefits are unlikely to fully materialize before 2030 –Experts do not expect the technology for exploitation in the harsh Arctic environment will be available until after 2050 –There will remain plenty of winter ice, Canada will experience large sea-ice variability, and there will be more mobile sea-ice. (U) Specialized vessels and supporting infrastructure have yet to be built

14 UNCLASSIFIED 14 The Arctic NIC 2025 Assessment While there is a risk of near-term tensions that could result in small scale confrontations over contested claims, and no track record of adjudicating competing claims under the Convention of the Law of the Sea, we judge the Arctic is unlikely to spawn major armed conflict –Circumpolar states have other major ports on other bodies of water –States share a common interest in regulating access to the Arctic by other powers –Stability would encourage high-tech companies to support extraction of the regions resources (U)

15 UNCLASSIFIED 15 The Arctic NIC 2025 Assessment Greatest strategic consequence over the next few decades may be to relatively large resource deficient trading states such as China, Japan, and Korea who will benefit increased access to energy resources and shorter trading distances. Canada and Russia are the two major Arctic states, and since Russia’s Arctic waters melt before Canada’s, Russia is likely to inherit first- mover advantages. (U)

16 UNCLASSIFIED 16 Planned Follow-On Research Country/Region Studies - use the methodology of the NIA, but drill down to provide more detail on specific countries/regions –Get more detailed science – what might we expect? –Convene experts to ascertain the national security/state stability impacts (U) Foreign Reactions to aggressive US mitigation/energy transformation decisions –Craft an aggressive but credible scenario –What are the unforeseen consequences and possible national security ramifications? (U)

17 UNCLASSIFIED 17 Planned Follow-On Research Explore – with a “geopolitical game” the national interests of an opening Arctic –In general what is the appropriate venue for raising and having an integrated discussion on Arctic issues, such as navigation, energy security, fisheries management, tourism (protection for citizens in the region), and climate change? –Is it possible to have a one-stop Arctic policy process? What is the role for Arctic Council, NATO, UN Climate Change Convention, the European Polar Consortium, and the International Maritime Organization? (U) Failing States – Identify the states most likely to have significant stress, humanitarian disasters, and/or fail due to climate change in ten, twenty, thirty years (U)

18 UNCLASSIFIED 18 Challenges for the Intelligence Community Collection – this is about the science –Need specificity and resolution Below the country level – water and temperature –What does it mean for agriculture, disease, animals, humans? Extreme weather events –Where, what frequency, what infrastructure at risk? Tipping Points (U) Analysis – this is about state stability –How will humans react? (U) Continued research to model social human dynamics at the individual and society level could have huge payoffs. (U)

19 UNCLASSIFIED 19 Process Perspective Global Business Network National Security Experts Working Group II Working Group I Political Science Social Science Biological Science Physical Science

20 UNCLASSIFIED 20 (Draft) Wish List “…necessary, but not sufficient…” Climate Sensitivity –1.5 to 5.5 ? –Is it constant for all CO2 levels up to 850ppm? Extreme Weather Events –Tropical Storms (Intensity, Frequency, Location) –Surface Storms (Tornados, Severe Winds)

21 UNCLASSIFIED 21 (Draft) Wish List “…necessary, but not sufficient…” Model Resolution –Temperature, Precipitation –At the “county” level (well within nation- states) –Water Scarcity (consider demographics) Agricultural Impacts –Vulnerability of existing crops “Production” Farming “Subsistence” Farming –Crop substitution possibilities

22 UNCLASSIFIED 22 (Draft) Wish List “…necessary, but not sufficient…” Tipping Points –Arctic (or Ocean) Methane Release –CO2 from changes in land use or oceans –Abrupt Ice loss form either pole –Major global circulation changes –Food/lifestyle sustainability Social Modeling –Stay or Migrate –Accept or Reject Solutions/People –Demographic Pressures

23 UNCLASSIFIED 23 Final Thoughts This need not be a one way transfer!

24 UNCLASSIFIED 24 Questions?


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