Pentagon: Global Warming Poses ‘Immediate Risk’ To National Security

In terms of U.S. defense strategy, climate change is a “threat multiplier” that can worsen national security problems such as terrorism and infectious disease spread, according to a new Pentagon report released Monday.

The 20-page “2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap” said the U.S. Department of Defense is “already beginning to see” some of the impacts of sea level rise, changing precipitation patterns, rising global temperatures, and increased extreme weather — four key symptoms of global warming. These symptoms have the potential to “intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict” and will likely lead to “food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe,” the report said.

Because of uncertainty surrounding just how bad these problems will be in the future, the report calls for a proactive defense strategy — one which will require “thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies.”

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