porting U.S. future naval operations and capabilities in the context of potential climate change impacts….

  1. Determine the potential impact climate change will have on allied force operations and capabilities….

  2. Examine the potential impact on U.S. future naval antisubmarine warfare operations and capabilities in the world’s oceans as a result of climate change; specifically, the technical underpinnings for projecting U.S. undersea dominance in light of the changing physical properties.

The committee’s first report, a letter report delivered to the CNO in April 2010, summarized near-term challenges and provided findings and recommendations for U.S. naval forces to address the more immediate climate-change-related challenges and planning issues.4 This report represents the committee’s final report and provides a more complete examination of issues identified in the study’s terms of reference.


The study’s terms of reference direct that this study be based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments and other subsequent relevant literature reviewed by the committee. Therefore, the committee did not address the science of climate change or challenge the assessments on which the committee’s findings and recommendations are based. This report addresses both the immediate and the long-term climate-change-related challenges for U.S. naval forces for each of the four areas of the terms of reference and provides findings and recommendations for addressing these challenges.5 Additionally, this report identifies research and development needs for U.S. naval forces within the context of a changing climate, and it provides findings and recommendations that the committee believes will assist in reducing underlying uncertainties for naval planning and missions.

This chapter begins with an overview of climate change effects and their implications for national security. It then examines increased international activity in the Arctic as a result of climate change and the resulting implications of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for U.S. naval forces. Following this, the chapter reviews the positioning of the U.S. naval leadership on climate change and provides a summary of additional relevant climate assessments. The chapter concludes with a discussion of risk management


The committee’s letter report is provided in Appendix D.


For the purposes of this report, in making recommendations for naval leadership actions, the term “immediate” is defined as requiring action now through the next Program Objective Memorandum (POM) cycle, in this case POM-14; “near term” as requiring close monitoring with action anticipated to be needed within the next 10 years; and “long term” as requiring monitoring with action anticipated to be needed within 10 to 20 years.

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