Nov 29, 2023
The first in a series focused on climate change and the security environment, this report presents analysis on how climate change will affect the physical environment in the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility in 2035, 2050, and 2070. The report highlights locations that are projected to experience the biggest changes, as well as those that are most exposed to climate hazards.
An Assessment of Climate Change in U.S. Central Command
Published Nov 29, 2023
Climate change is increasingly becoming a major disruptor of human and natural systems. In some areas, summer temperatures are quickly rising, droughts are deepening, and heat waves are lengthening and getting hotter. Such changes will place pressure on scarce water resources, threaten food security, disrupt fisheries, and result in direct health consequences, among other impacts. These effects can produce secondary and tertiary impacts on human systems that may destabilize societies, economies, or governments. However, these dynamics are highly complex and deeply uncertain, and the pathways from climate changes to societal disruptions that lead to conflict remain poorly understood and an area for continuing research. Still, decisionmakers must plan and act in the near term to reduce future climate-induced risks to physical and human systems.
As a first step to characterizing these pathways, this report examines climate change and its impacts on the physical environment to inform operational and longer-term decisionmaking by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), with an emphasis on impacts that are relevant to food and water security in 2035, 2050, and 2070. This is the first report in a series that presents investigations into the potential impacts of climate change on the security environment in the CENTCOM area of responsibility (AOR). This report highlights locations that are projected to experience the biggest changes, as well as those that are most exposed to climate hazards.