Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing
precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability,
hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and
resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.
In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a "threat multiplier" because it has the potential to exacerbate many of
the challenges we are dealing with today from infectious disease to terrorism. We are already beginning to see some of these
A changing climate will have real impacts on our military and the way it executes its missions. The military could be called upon
more often to support civil authorities, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the face of more frequent and
more intense natural disasters. Our coastal installations are vulnerable to rising sea levels and increased flooding, while droughts,
wildfires, and more extreme temperatures could threaten many of our training activities. Our supply chains could be impacted,
and we will need to ensure our critical equipment works under more extreme weather conditions. Weather has always affected
military operations, and as the climate changes, the way we execute operations may be altered or constrained.