Terms of Reference
At the request of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Naval Studies Board of the National Research Council will establish a committee to study the national security implications of climate change for U.S. naval forces (i.e., the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard). Based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments and other subsequent relevant literature reviewed by the committee, the study will:
Examine the potential impact on U.S. future naval operations and capabilities as a result of climate change (e.g., how will U.S. future naval operations be impacted and what capabilities will be needed for U.S. future naval forces as a result of climate change? This includes an assessment of the U.S. Coast Guard and Marine Corps, and where the U.S. Navy might be required to supplement or augment their capabilities).
Assess the robustness of the Department of Defense’s infrastructure for supporting U.S. future naval operations and capabilities in the context of potential climate change impacts (e.g., are there any U.S. military installations and/or forward-deployed bases providing support to U.S. naval forces that are potentially vulnerable as a result of climate change?).
Determine the potential impact climate change will have on allied force operations and capabilities (e.g., are there any allies who may need U.S. naval force support as a result of climate change? Conversely, which allied force operations and capabilities may U.S. naval forces wish to leverage as a result of climate change?).
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 of the oceans.
This 15-month study will produce two reports: (1) a letter report following the third full committee meeting that summarizes the immediate challenges for U.S. naval forces in addressing each of the four above areas, as well as recommends approaches to address these challenges; (2) a comprehensive report that addresses in greater depth the full terms of reference.