The deleterious effects of high temperatures and humidity on the performance of aircraft are exacerbated in many places around the world under climate change. Last year, in a Center for Climate and Security briefer, these effects were discussed for both rotary and fixed wing aircraft. They include reductions in take-off weight because of reduced lift and, longer take-off and landing distances. The result will be that military operations will be at higher risk of disruption or outright failure, particularly in those locations where longer over-water distances need to be traversed. Complementing the briefer is a recent study by Gratton et al. (2020) that collected and analyzed climate change effects on the operation of two types of commercial, civilian aircraft that are commonly used at Greek airports.
Supply chains are the less visible parts of many large, global companies, such as Apple, Toyota, and Boeing. For each of these companies, their many suppliers incrementally provide parts that are eventually assembled into finished products, whether they are hand-held smartphones or part of vehicles that transport a few or many people. Disruptions to suppliers can have devastating effects on the ability of a company to complete finished products. The most recent example of this are the shortages in personal protective equipment, e.g., masks, surgical gowns, and face shields, for health-care workers involved in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Department of Defense (DoD), disruptions to its global supply chain, particularly those suppliers involved in mission-critical products and services, will degrade DoD’s ability to respond when it is called upon. When these disruptions are caused or influenced by climate change, supply chain management under climate change becomes a strategic vulnerability. The probability of a disruption to one or more critical suppliers is never-ending, given their number and dispersed locations around the globe.
By Maya Saidel
Heightened militarization in the Himalayan region has impeded diplomatic and multilateral efforts to tackle critical climate issues endangering one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. In early June, at least 20 soldiers perished in a historic clash between Indian and Chinese troops along the disputed Himalayan border in Ladakh. This confrontation is the most recent deadly episode in a long history of border disputes between the two countries. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) demarcation, intended to designate which country controlls specific territory, was established after the Sino-Indian War in 1962. Yet, according to The Indian Express, efforts to clarify the exact location of the LAC in the Ladakh region have “effectively stalled since 2002.”
By Rear Admiral Jonathan White, USN (ret.) and Annabelle Leahy
The pandemic of Covid-19 has tremendous and largely unknown implications for global health, security, and economic prosperity, but as we work diligently to steer the future toward positive outcomes, we must not lose track of the growing challenges and opportunities that continually unfold with another well-known but not well-understood global phenomenon — the ocean.
The ocean and its resources are inextricably tied to human health, the economy, and security. The link between the environment, particularly the ocean, and human health, is an area of increasing global importance as climate change increases the incidence of toxin release from harmful algal blooms, damage from catastrophic weather events, and potential for contagion from waterborne viruses and bacteria. These threats are not just related to health but also to security. Climate change is a core systemic risk to the 21st century world, and we must specifically address the ocean in this discussion.
The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) seeks to hire a Deputy Director for its Center for Climate and Security (CCS). This is an exciting growth opportunity for the right candidate. CSR seeks candidates with the vision and potential needed to become a true leader in national and international security. The Deputy Director will have the opportunity to become a leading voice on the intersection of climate and security, a field of rapidly-growing importance and rising relevance in security affairs. See the full job description below, and apply at this link.
As military planners look out to future operating environments that they may face, they need to continue to anticipate the changing social, environmental, political, and economic conditions that populations may experience when these populations are increasingly affected by climate change. Climate change will dynamically influence many societal variables including migration, food security, and conflict. Planners may be particularly drawn to the causes of conflict. Mach et. al (2020) present four areas of future research that would assist planners with better understanding the relationship between climate change and armed conflict.
Climate change has and will continue to have both direct and indirect effects around the world. Changes in water will be one of the most visible direct effects, whether it is too little water, such as during prolonged droughts; too much, such as flooding caused by sea-level rise or tropical storms; or misaligned timing, such as when seasonal rains are early or late. Across numerous societies, the climate change-water interaction will be disruptive, but through mitigation and adaptation actions, this interaction can at least be ameliorated. However, these disruptions will also have significant security implications locally, regionally, and globally depending on their intensity, spatial extent, and longevity, and due to their disproportionate effects on different segments of societies. This deteriorating security environment is very likely to increase the vulnerability of affected populations, enhance inequities, and interfere with mitigation and adaptation actions, which will prolong instability. Thus, any security analysis must integrate the effects of climate change on water, and its attendant effects on the vulnerability of populations, to capture a true picture of the security environment. Resources like the newly-released World Water Development Report (WWDR), titled “Water and Climate Change,” should therefore be taken very seriously by the security community.
Over the past decade, understanding of the relationship between natural disasters, climate change and conflict has increased significantly. The Center for Climate and Security has been exploring case studies of this relationship since 2012, and four years ago, a major study of global datasets found that the “risk of armed-conflict outbreak is enhanced by climate-related disaster occurrence in ethnically fractionalized countries.”
The most recent addition to this growing body of literature is Tobias Ide and his colleagues (2020), who have presented the first multi-method study of climate-related disasters and conflict. They investigate the nature of the pathways connecting these disasters to conflict, as well as the contextual factors. Overall, the authors find that there is “an increased risk of armed conflict onset immediately after climate related disasters.” That’s a significant finding, though the relationship is not a generic one.
This article was first published on AsiaGlobal Online (April 29, 2020)
Today’s international security and governance architecture was born of the post-World War II period, when a conflict-weary world sought to prevent another clash of nation-state alliances drawn into battle by the expansionist actions of a few. Yet many modern security challenges do not fit neatly into postwar constructs, arguesRachel Fleishman of the Center for Climate and Security. Pandemics, mass migration and environmental degradation – and, most prominently, climate change – defy national borders and the world must prepare for concerted, coordinated action to prevent predictable cross-border threats.
Date: April 9, 2020
Contact: Francesco Femia, ffemia at csrisks dot org
THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY COUNCIL ON CLIMATE AND SECURITY OFFERS EXPERTISE ON HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND DISASTER RELIEF TO ASSIST DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
The International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) is a group of senior military leaders, security experts, and security institutions across the globe dedicated to anticipating, analyzing, and addressing the security risks of a changing climate. Many in this network have significant experience and expertise in planning and executing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) missions, including in the face of naturally-occurring disasters.
In this context, the IMCCS Leadership feels it is its duty to offer advice and expertise to assist, in some small way, with management of the ongoing COVID-19 threat. The IMCCS Leadership and Participants below are available to receive inquiries from the media and the public (this list will be regularly updated).
IMCCS experts available for inquiries
- The Honorable Sherri Goodman, Secretary General, the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS), Senior Strategist, the Center for Climate and Security
Experienced leader in crisis preparedness and response; deep knowledge of environmental, climate and energy threat multipliers including expanding disease vectors; formerly responsible for oversight of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board – military epidemiologists tracking global disease vectors. Formerly the US Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security).
- General Tom Middendorp, Chair, International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS), former Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (Ret)
Experienced leader in multinational crisis management operations around the world from the tactical to the operational level as a taskforce commander, as the National Director of Operations and as the Chief of Defense; experience in disaster relief operations in The Carribbean; deep knowledge on root causes of conflict and Climate Change as a risk multiplier; Fellow at the Clingendael Research Institute and Strategic Adviser at the Hague Center for Strategic Studies on Climate & Security; involved in several innovations of green technologies.
- Vice Admiral Ben Bekkering, Royal Netherlands Navy (Ret), Participant, the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS)
Planned and executed Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) operations from the sea, both in command of ships and seagoing staffs, in east and West Africa and the Caribbean. Involved in strategic development of HA/DR within international organizations such as NATO and the EU.
- Laura Birkman, Senior Strategic Analyst, the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)
From 2014-2019, Laura was the lead senior and principal consultant responsible for crisis management and disaster risk reduction at Ecorys, an international research consulting firm. In this role she was responsible for the acquisition and implementation of a number of large EU projects.
- Captain Steve Brock, US Navy (Ret), Chief of Staff, the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS), Senior Advisor, the Council on Strategic Risks
Extensive experience in the identification, planning and execution of multiple HA/DR missions forward deployed at the operational and staff levels as well as at the national policy level at the Pentagon and White House National Security Council.
- Colonel Daniel Ruiz Lopez, PhD, Spanish Army (Ret), Participant, the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS).
Researcher in Peace Studies at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa, focusing on civilization collapse in the Anthropocene. Former Director at United Nations field missions in the political, humanitarian and development fields in the Balkans, Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and the Caribbean for more than 20 years. Experience in the management of the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, US Navy (Ret), Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), Senior Member of the Executive Committee, the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS)
Appointed and served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment from September 2013 until January 2017. Previously, he served on active duty in the United States Navy for 35 years as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer, and national security strategist. During his capstone assignment as Commander of the United States Third Fleet he sponsored the development of command, control and communications protocols for international disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations in the first Strong Angel Battle Experiment.
- Michel Rademaker, Senior Member of the Executive Committee, the International Military Council on Climate and Security, Co-founder and Deputy Director, the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)
Michel has 15 years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. His fields of expertise include security strategy, policy, concepts and doctrines, technology assessments, geopolitical and economic security implications of climate change, raw materials and energy supply and serious gaming techniques. He has worked extensively on big data analytics and is experienced in building interactive monitors and dashboards.
- Paul Sinning, Executive Director, the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)
Paul specializes in crisis management. After graduating from the Dutch police academy in 1985, he started his career in the police force in Amsterdam. As a police officer he was responsible for several criminal investigation units. His areas of expertise include strategy, organizational development and complex collaboration issues between organizations responsible for security. He has written several articles and books on the topic of crisis management.
- Rob de Wijk, founder of the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and Professor of International Relations and Security at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University.
Rob studied Contemporary History and International Relations at Groningen University, and wrote his PhD dissertation on NATO’s ‘Flexibility in Response’ strategy at the Political Science Department of Leiden University. He has written several articles and books on the topic of crisis management, and is currently advising the Dutch government, private corporations and the media about the COVID-19 crisis.
Contact: Francesco Femia, ffemia at csrisks dot org
IMCCS website: www.imccs.org
IMCCS Leadership: https://imccs.org/leadership/
IMCCS full list of Participants: https://imccs.org/council/
IMCCS Institutional Partners: https://imccs.org/council/institutional-partners/
The International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) is a group of senior military leaders, security experts, and security institutions across the globe dedicated to anticipating, analyzing, and addressing the security risks of a changing climate.