For the U.S. Military, there is no debate over climate change

March 2010 was the warmest month on record when combining land and ocean temperatures worldwide, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose records go back to 1880. Is this a fluke, a one-time spike in temperatures? Could be, but the Pentagon sure doesn’t think so.

In their recently released Quadrennial Defense Review, the Department of Defense says climate change effects are being seen in every region of the planet, as measured by multiple federal agencies. These effects include increased rainfall, receding glaciers, rising oceans, and prolonged growing seasons.

So, while climate change might be beneficial if you live in an area with longer growing seasons, it’s maybe not so fine if you live on a coastline, and having Arctic shipping lanes open year round could change global commerce.

In the report, the Pentagon says “climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked” and that climate change could bring geopolitical instability, poverty, mass migrations, food and water shortages, and act as an “accelerant” towards conflict. As of 2008, they had already identified 30 military installations that were facing risk from rising sea levels.

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