U.S. Military Prepares for Global Unrest Amid Climate Fears (Op-Ed)By Marlene Cimons, Climate Nexus | LiveScience.com – 6 hrs ago
Though Earth's shifting climate evokes many images, civil unrest usually isn't one of them. Yet, a warming planet could have a profound impact on national security, both in the United States and abroad. This time, the threat isn't from terrorism or a single enemy, but from natural disasters occurring on an unprecedented scale.
Acts of nature fueled by a warming climate — for example, floods and prolonged drought — may lead to disrupted migration, food and water shortages, and other public health crises — which, in turn, could prompt civil and political instability. Those impacts would pose a particularly profound threat for people in countries with fragile governments, including key U.S. strategic interests.
This threat has Pentagon officials worried enough to speak out and to invest in research to better understand the relationships among conflict, socioeconomic conditions and climate. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) plans to use the data to predict future threats and develop ways to cope with them.
Under its highly selective Minerva social-science program, the DOD has awarded researchers at the University of Maryland a three-year, $1.9 million grant to develop models that will help policymakers anticipate what could happen to societies under a range of potential climate-change scenarios.