Predicting the Coastal Impacts of Climate Change Congressional Briefing

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On November 14, Sally Yozell, Director of Stimson’s Environmental Security Program, spoke at a Congressional Briefing hosted by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) on predicting the coastal impacts of climate change. Ms Yozell highlighted the security implications of climate change from its impact on US military readiness and base security to climate migration and coastal urban vulnerability as well as its impact on geopolitical instability in the melting Arctic.

“Addressing the ecological, social and economic impacts of climate change will take a holistic approach,” she said. “By identifying where climate and ocean risks come together, decision makers will be better prepared to build resiliency and support national and global security in the long-run and minimize the effects of climate change on global stability.”

The physical impacts of climate change, from sea level rise to more intense storms, droughts, and heat waves are already happening around the world today. As the IPCC report released in October highlights, if we do not limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius the impacts of climate change will be catastrophic. As these climate impacts worsen, they will have increasingly severe consequences for the stability and security of our world. Climate change will affect almost every aspect of human society, creating threats to economic security, food security, and even national security and global stability.

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