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National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces
looking sonar, which shows that sea ice has been thinning in response to climatechange. (Chapter 6)
RECOMMENDATION: The Chief of Naval Research, the Oceanographer of theNavy, and the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command,should consider findings by the MEDEA Program (and take lessons from MEDEAactions within the intelligence community) to develop and support a Navy philosophy for providing access to previously classified information that can be usedby the climate research community. Such actions would enhance the potential ofthese researchers to help the Navy better prepare for its mission in a future witha warmer climate. (Chapter 6)
FINDING: The Navy has billions of dollars in assets exposed to the threats ofclimate change, and it must make strategic decisions in the face of considerableuncertainty about the pace, magnitude, and regional manifestations of climatechange. Yet Navy research at present has no capability for modeling the coupledocean-atmosphere-land-cryosphere system and how it will respond to greenhousegas forcing. The Navy also has no programs in seasonal-to-decadal timescaleclimate forecasting to help guide long-range strategic planning for operations,platforms, and facilities; it relies almost entirely on civilian agencies and international assessments to inform its policies and practices related to climate change.(Chapter 6)
RECOMMENDATION: The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research,Development, and Acquisition (ASN RDA) should examine the U.S. Navy’s overall research and development capabilities vis-à-vis climate studies, especiallywith respect to coupled models and climate forecasting on seasonal-to-decadaltimescales. The ASN RDA should give special emphasis to regional aspects ofsea-level rise, and sea-ice concentration and extent, because of their relevanceto coastal infrastructure and operational needs. The Department of the Navyshould also become actively engaged in the development of an Arctic ObservingSystem, specifically with respect to development and deployment of in situ andremote sensing systems (i.e., gliders, buoys, and satellites) as well as icebreakersin support of research. (Chapter 6)