A 15-month study commissioned by the United States Navy finds that climate change will present significant challenges for the Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps.
Rising temperatures and melting glacial ice will prompt American maritime forces to secure newly created Arctic shipping lanes, protect coastal military installations from rising seas, and plan for increased humanitarian missions as coastal populations become displaced.
In the report, Antionio J. Buslacchi, one of the study's primary authors, a climatologist, and director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center at the University of Maryland, stated:
"Although the future degree and magnitude of climate change on regional scales is uncertain, it's clear that the potential for environmental disasters is on the rise due to the changing nature of the hydrologic cycle and sea level. Naval forces must be prepared to provide more aid and disaster relief in the decades ahead."
By affirming the detrimental effects of climate change, the U.S. Navy report not only demonstrates the critical need to prepare for future climate-related events, but also illustrates that now more than ever, we must work to considerably reduce the release of greenhouse gases.