Climate change may be threatening national security


Hunter Berube

Suffolk Climate Watch graphic

The first ever National Intelligence Estimate was released on Oct. 21, which studied how climate change can threaten national security. In upcoming decades, the climate crisis is on track to create extreme problems at an increasing rate.

Challenges such as increasing temperatures, extreme weather and droughts can indicate vulnerability in developing countries, according to U.S. agencies. Many of these risks are due to depleting resources such as food and water.

“Climate change is creating a shortage in resources such as fresh water and in some nations these resources are not being partitioned out equally causing people to migrate in order to survive,” said Ashley Muise, vice president of the Suffolk Environmental Club.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released the assessment, naming Pakistan, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Iraq, North Korea, India, Afghanistan, Burma, Haiti and Honduras as the most at-risk countries to the effects of climate change, according to CBS News.

Global famine is a possibility in the near future, as high ocean temperatures and droughts can cause food scarcity, according to USA Today

. Areas such as Africa, South Asia and Latin America may experience disarray with their governments due to these rising concerns.

“Intensifying physical effects will exacerbate geopolitical flashbacks, particularly after 2030, and key countries and regions will face increasing risks of instability and need for humanitarian assistance,” according to a report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

These results were released a month before world leaders will come together for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, where they will discuss solutions to the climate crisis, according to NBC News. The report adds that those countries who were a part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement will likely not meet the goals they set to become more sustainable and minimize the effects of climate change by 2050.

“Countries with more corrupt governments and less stability are going to seek out refuge in more developed, democratic nations such as the U.S.,” said Muise.

Wealthier nations like the United States may be responsible for managing global conflict among other developing nations who are most at risk, according to USA Today. Washington can possibly be inclined to meet humanitarian, economic, diplomatic and military resource demands, according to the report.

Despite the current predictions for the next decade, the report also states that unanticipated events can change these outcomes. These can include global climate disasters or breakthroughs in technology that can curb the issue.