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The Effects of Climate Change on National Security - Annotated Bibliography

United States, Congress, Schwartz, Peter, and Doug Randall. An Abrupt Climate
Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security. U.S.
Dept. of Defense, October 2003. Date of Access: 27 August 2017

This report from the Pentagon analyzes the possible national security implications of a collapse of the

oceans thermohaline conveyor, an event that becomes increasingly likely as the planet warms. The

authors postulate that a collapse of the thermohaline conveyor could lead to drastic temperature changes,

droughts, and an intensification of wind speeds and winter storms. These effects would lead to shortages

of food and water and a reduced access to energy supplies, which could in turn lead to an increase in

border tensions resulting from large-scale migrations, and an increase in global conflict and economic

malaise as a result of the food and water shortages.

National Intelligence Assessment on the National Security Implications of Global


Climate Change to 2030. Federal testimony. Statement for the record of Dr.
Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence for analysis and chairman of the
National Intelligence Council, before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, United
States House of Representatives, 25 June 2008. Date of Access: 27 August 2017

In this statement given by Dr. Thomas Fingar to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and

the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, he explains the

National Intelligence Councils analysis of the possible national security ramifications of climate change

up to year 2030. He argues that climate change could lead to an increase of natural disasters in the Gulf,

destruction of U.S. infrastructure, and an increase in migration to the U.S. from countries with resource

shortages as a result of climate change.

Gleick, Peter H. Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria. Journal
article. Weather, Climate, and Society, vol. 9, no. 4, Oct. 2017. Date of Access:
27 August 2017
Gleick elucidates the role of climate change in the inception of the Syrian civil war. He argues that the

worsening drought in the country led to a deterioration of Syrias economic conditions which helped

foster the instability that led to the civil war.

United States, Congress, National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a


Changing Climate. Department of Defense, 23 July 2015. Date of Access: 27 August
2017

This report from the Department of Defense (DoD) identifies the three key threats that climate change

poses to national security: 1) an increase in natural disasters, 2) an increase in refugee flows, and 3) an

increase in the number of conflicts resulting from a lack of resources such as food and water. The report

also explains how the DoD plans to adjust its policies to better respond to these threats.
Hsiang, S. M., et al. Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict. Science, vol.
341, no. 6151, 1 Aug. 2013, doi:10.1126/science.1235367. Date of Access: 27
August 2017

This comprehensive study analyzes the results of 60 other studies to try to quantify the effect that climate

change and certain climatic conditions have on human conflict. The authors found that an increase of one

standard deviation in temperature or extreme rainfall leads to a four percent increase in interpersonal

violence and a fourteen percent increase in intergroup conflict. Climate scientists predict that

temperatures around the world will increase by two to four standard deviations by the year 2050.

Therefore, the effect that climate change could have on the rate of human conflict is profound.