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The US Department of Defense recognizes the reality of climate change and the significant risk it poses to U.S. interests globally contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water. These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale, and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time. To understand and mitigate this threat, our nation needs to monitor, understand, and forecast critical climate, sea and land surface parameters.
”The rapid change in climate will have significant impacts on our national security. The days of climate stability … are over.”
> David W. Titley, Rear Admiral USN (ret.), PhD
“…climate change is a challenge that requires a broader, whole-of government response.”
> James Mattis, Genearal USMC (ret), Secretary of Defense 2017-2019
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There is unprecedented warming in the Arctic, due to a phenomenon know as Arctic Amplification. This results in a dramatic reduction in Arctic sea and land ice and thawing of permafrost. Loss of Arctic ice is affects weather patterns globally and in the Northern Hemisphere in particular. Extreme weather events such as droughts, coastal flooding and fires result in food and water shortages and mass human migrations can destabilize governments and threaten US national security interests. The loss of sea-ice is also changing the geopolitics of the Arctic. This NASA video shows more about Arctic ice loss.
The STF2100 scientists have published a new paper Arctic Ice Loss Threatens National Security: A Path Forward in Orbis, the journal of the Foreign Policy Institute. Explore More
The Arctic is warming at an unprecedented rate, resulting in a dramatic reduction in Arctic sea and land ice and thawing of permafrost. Loss of Arctic ice affects weather patterns globally and in the Northern Hemisphere in particular.
The Secure The Future 2100 scientists have written a White Paper – The National Arctic Ice Restoration Initiative (NAIRI) – a proposal to the Biden Administration intended to catalyze a new federal government initiative that would advance multi-agency coordinated efforts to fund research to preserve and restore the Arctic sea ice and reduce Arctic warming and permafrost thaw.
Read the Executive Summary. download the full report below, and
learn how to join other climate scientist in endorsing NAIRI.
This NAIRI proposal expands on an earlier paper, Arctic Ice Loss Threatens National Security: A Path Forward.
Rapid loss of Arctic Ocean sea ice is increasing the absorption of solar radiation, causing the Arctic to warm 2-3 times the global average. By 2035, the Arctic ocean is estimated to be entirely void of sea ice during the summer. New sea ice formed during the winter will be too thin for maximum protection against solar radiation.
Photo courtesy of: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center
Deep river canyons of meltwater carved into the surface of Greenland with Arctic and global warming. In 2019 Greenland lost a record 586 billion tons of ice from its melting ice sheet: enough to cover California in more than 1.25 meters (4 ft) of water.
Image courtesy of Ian Joughin, University of Washington
Methane Bubbling in waters off the East Siberia Arctic Shelf. 400 billion tons of methane lies under the Arctic Ocean sea-bed: the global warming equivalent of 344,00 billion tons of CO2 or 10 times the amount of CO2 currently in the atmosphere.
Photo courtesy of: Tomsk Polytechnic University
Methane held under ice waiting to be released when the ice melts. About 20% of Arctic land permafrost is vulnerable to abrupt permafrost thaw producing thermokarst lakes as ground subsides and fills with water rapidly decomposing organic matter and releasing greenhouse gasses to the surface and the atmosphere.
Photo curtesy of NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio Data Visualization of Permafrost Status, NASA Observatory