dependent on the same underlying climatic processes. Such efforts would help in defining climate event scenarios for countries, regions, and systems that could be used as the basis for climate stress tests.

Recommendation 4.1: It should, along with the USGCRP and other relevant science and mission agencies, develop priorities for research on climate vulnerability and adaptation and consider strategies for providing appropriate research support. The interagency effort on vulnerability and adaptation should include agencies responsible for community resilience and disaster preparedness and response domestically and internationally.

Such an interagency process does not imply that climate change should be defined as a security issue. Rather, it indicates that security issues are among those that should be considered in developing and executing a research agenda on climate change adaptation and vulnerability.

Recommendation 5.1: It should, along with other interested agencies, support research to improve understanding of the conditions under which climate-related natural disasters and disruptions of critical systems of life support do or do not lead to important security-relevant outcomes such as political instability, violent conflict, humanitarian disasters, and disruptive migration.

Understanding the connections between harm suffered from climate events and political and social outcomes of security concern is arguably the most important aspect of climate change from a national security perspective, but it has received relatively little scientific attention until now. The disaster research community, which has been the locus of research on the political effects of climate events, has not been well connected to the climate research community.

To build the needed fundamental understanding will require the integration of knowledge of political and socioeconomic conditions in countries of interest; knowledge from climate science about the potential exposure of these countries to climate events; and knowledge from social science about the susceptibility of these countries to being harmed by those events and the likelihood of effective coping, response, and recovery at local to national levels. These sources of knowledge come from different communities of experts, which will need to communicate with each other but do not necessarily do so now. An important need is to integrate the social science of natural disasters and disaster response with other forms of analysis. This body of knowledge is particularly important for assessing the security



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement