Climate change and its implications on national security


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Climate change and its implications on National security

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Climate change and its implications on national security

  1. 1. Climate Change and its Implications on National Security Presented by Amith Reddy Clifton Trujillo Kyle Hammond David Willmon
  2. 2. Introduction What is security? • Soroos (1997) defines security as “the assurance people have that they will continue to enjoy those things that are most important to their survival and well-being”. • Every nation has a national security strategy. • Climate change is potentially the greatest challenge to global stability.
  3. 3. Previous Studies • Some studies argue that climate change poses a long-term threat to quality of life. • Climate-induced events deteriorate or destroy: o Physical or social infrastructure. o Economic and social depression over scarce natural resources. o Political development stability. • These problems could challenge human survival on the planet.
  4. 4. Threats of Climate Change • Human health • Natural and water resources • Human well-being • Risk from internal instability and economic weakness. Environmental Changes • Rising global temperatures • Reduced water availability and drought; • Increased floods and storms; • Sea-level rise (threaten human health) • Effect on food and water security. • A rise in air and water temperature, • Erratic rainfall.
  5. 5. World map indicating percentage of agricultural water threatened under a dry climate change scenario
  6. 6. Additional Impacts • Projected sea-level rise could be disastrous • Threaten the whole economy in low-lying and island states in the world • Threats on natural and coastal resources • Threats on Ecosystem • Undermine the infrastructure of society • Adversely affects human system
  7. 7. Current Study • Climate change will aggravate existing problems o Poverty o Social tensions o Environmental degradations o Weak political institutions that threaten state stability • Climate change is connected to national security issues
  8. 8. Sources Used From electronic and non-electronic databases • Journals • Reports • Proceedings • Internet Search Engines • Communicating with colleagues working in this area of research
  9. 9. Studies Found Studies included: o Least-developed countries o Developing countries • Data, findings, and evidence o Based on impact to individuals, communities, and national well-being o Climate change o Security threats • Environmental security • Economic security • Political security
  10. 10. Climate Change and National Security • Overwhelming scientific evidence suggests climate changes pose many threats to security and prosperity for humanity all over the world. • Normally national security fell to government and the military. o Concept of human security is based on security and welfare of human beings.
  11. 11. National security is… • A function of state legitimacy o People can live in peace when there are no projected threats against: • Their welfare • The stability of political systems • Economic systems • Technology • Ecological systems
  12. 12. Floods, storms, droughts, heat and sea level rise o Environmental degradation o Resource depletion o Large-scale migration o Spread of disease o Greater competition for Earth’s resources
  13. 13. Rising temperatures, precipitation changes and extreme weather events could be a threat to key national economic sectors: • • • • • • Energy Industries Transports Agriculture Water and coastal resources Public health
  14. 14. Arguments of Studies Reviewed • Frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, forest fires, and sea-level rise will be a challenge o For weak and fragile states with poorly performing institutions and systems of government o For low lying states and their infrastructures • Could lead to a major socioeconomic crisis that affects the whole world.
  15. 15. United Nations Development Program • Reported that flooding affected people’s: o o o o o Homes Livelihoods Access to medical facilities Sanitation Safe drinking water
  16. 16. Natural disasters in coastal areas • Due to sea level rise, intensive storms, and heavy precipitation • South Asia, China, and USA • Most affected would be: o o o o o o o Region’s ecosystems Biodiversity Water and agriculture Forestry Fisheries Livestock resources Political and social stability
  17. 17. Problems Caused by Resource Scarcity • • • • Disruption of production cycles Extreme weather patterns Reduction in water resources Drop in agricultural production and decreased availability to fresh water
  18. 18. Atoll Countries • Most physically vulnerable to sealevel rise because of: o High ratio of coastline to land area o High population densities o Low level of available resources
  19. 19. Small island states are at risk as well • Examples are Bangladesh, Vietnam, and India o All situated near major rivers, and deltas prone to flooding • Bangladesh o 80% of its land is in the floodplains o 1/3 under tidal influence o Drought, desertification and cyclonic events affect: • Agricultural production • Human beings
  20. 20. Environmental Dimensions • Profound ecosystem impact o Natural resources o Human dependence • Major environmental threats o o o o Desertification/deforestation Global warming/ozone depletion Rising sea-levels Air and water pollution
  21. 21. Importance to Humans • Resource scarcity o Fighting/killing over supplies • Oil, land, water, food • Terrain/ecosystem changes o Reported 1.1 billion people lack access to drinkable water • Contaminants a major concern o Parasites, pollutants, etc. o Water is not an optional resource
  22. 22. Public Health • Increase in natural disasters o Not enough staff/doctors to examine patients o Access to facilities limited during severe disasters • Food store declines o World food stores declined drastically • 11% in 2007, while price index increased 40% o Some African countries face future problems • 50% of agricultural yield reduction by 2020 o Projected 90% decline in revenue from crops by 2100
  23. 23. Public Health (continued) • Suitable land o Forced migration • Bangladesh sea-level rising o 45 cm could result in 5.5 million (10.9%) forced to evacuate • Hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. o Affected areas become barren • Where to occupy next? o Factors such as soil fertility and stable weather conditions become increasingly important
  24. 24. Economic Dimensions • Climate change a global security issue o Many significant effects including: • Loss of life and property • Loss of agricultural productivity • Economic damage o Note that many impacts are cumulative • Issues alter and affect one another • Very rarely are problems independent/isolated
  25. 25. Impact on Economic Growth and Stability o Damage to both individuals and property • $6+ billion across 13 Asian and African countries in December 2004 • $4.45 billion of which was in Indonesia alone o Most extreme cases • Some cities at peril of major flooding or submerging • Completely eradicates any economy for the area • Hard if not impossible to predict o Greatly limits growth of nations without stable climates • Also affects nations that rely on affected areas exports
  26. 26. The Political Dimension • Climate-induced migration o Link to political instability o High population pressures o Tension between nations • Drought and Desertification o Resource scarcity o Crop failure
  27. 27. The Way Forward • Reduce human contribution o Lower greenhouse gas emissions o Learn from the past • Education • Climate security
  28. 28. Enhancing Climate Security • Political priority • Global dialogue o Policy implementation o Assisting other countries • Programs to address problems o Awareness o Ecological degradation o Preparation for emergency situations
  29. 29. Conclusion: • Climate change presents a very serious challenge to the security and prosperity for individuals, community as well as nations especially low-lying island states. • Has many potential circumstances & consequences for the physical environment. • Some nation-states are facing various stresses eg. temperature increases, change in rainfall patterns, changes in livestock and agricultural crops, water stress, population growth, rapid institutional changes, increase of economic inequality and large scale migration. • Show consequences for livelihood, settlements patterns, resources pressures, potentially increasing the risk of social instability as well as political.
  30. 30. Suggestions: • There is need a political will or commitment to reduce greenhouse gas concentration and ensure national security. • Research for adaptive responses that would prepare for inevitable climate driven events such as mass migration, disease and food and water shortages to enhance understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on nations. • Understanding the ways of climate change and to cope with the multiple regional stresses in the context of increasing stresses caused by climate change, • Every nation will need to develop an integrated approach in national and regional levels and implement sustainable adaptive strategies as well as climate security.
  31. 31. Questions?