Pakistan India Flooding
  • Pakistan India Flooding
  • Pakistan army soldiers evacuate a baby in district Shorkot near in Jhang, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. The Pakistani military stepped up rescue efforts as floods wreaked havoc in more districts of the country's eastern Punjab province on Friday, leaving hundreds of thousands a people homeless. After destroying hundreds of villages in the Jhang district this week, the floods on Friday hit three more Punjab districts. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
India Pakistan Flooding
  • India Pakistan Flooding
  • Indian Army soldiers unload relief material for flood-affected victims at Sonari village in Reasi district, about 80 kilometers from Jammu, India, Sept. 13, 2014. About 200 people have died in Indian-controlled Kashmir, where floodwaters have receded, enabling people to return to their homes. Medical teams in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-held Kashmir, were stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, officials said Saturday. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
India Kashmir Flooding
  • India Kashmir Flooding
  • Indian laborers carry relief material for flood-affected victims in Poonch, around 276 kilometers (166 miles) from Jammu, India, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Army and air force troops on Monday battled to rescue thousands of people stranded in Indian-controlled Kashmir and northern and eastern Pakistan, where flooding and landslides have caused more than 300 deaths. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
APTOPIX India Floods
  • APTOPIX India Floods
  • Indian civilians get ready to load relief material for flood affected victims on a helicopter at a makeshift helipad at Joshimath, in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, June 24, 2013. A top official said the death toll in northern India could rise as army soldiers clear the debris from towns and villages flattened by landslides and monsoon flooding.Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the number of people who have perished in the floods that washed away thousands of homes could go beyond the 1,000 deaths reported so far (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Upper Midwest Flooding
  • Upper Midwest Flooding
  • South Dakota National Guard troops fill sandbags in preparation for flooding along the Big Sioux River, Friday, June 20, 2014 in North Sioux City, S.D.The National Weather Service had predicted that the Big Sioux River would hit a record high around midday. But the service said Friday morning that the river crested at Sioux City, Iowa, around midnight a couple of feet below the previous record. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Missouri River Flooding
  • Missouri River Flooding
  • South Dakota National Guard members from Watertown, S.D. stack sandbags to prevent floodwaters from the rising Missouri River from reaching an electrical box Thursday, June 2, 2011 in Ft. Pierre, S.D. South Dakota's governor has urged some residents to evacuate from three cities considered early trouble spots as officials brace for a prolonged period of Missouri River flooding. (AP Photo/Doug Dreyer)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Flooding Missouri River
  • Flooding Missouri River
  • Members of the South Dakota Army National Guard fill sandbags in Dakota Dunes, S.D., Friday, June 3, 2011. The southeast South Dakota city is threatened by Missouri River flooding, following record rainfall across the northern Plains, and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard wants all residents of the Country Club area of Dakota Dunes to be out of their homes before midnight Friday. He says homeowners might not be able to return for two months. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
APTOPIX Upper Midwest Flooding
  • APTOPIX Upper Midwest Flooding
  • South Dakota National Guard troops fill sandbags in preparation for flooding along the Big Sioux River, Friday, June 20, 2014, in North Sioux City, S.D. The river, which has threatened homes where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota meet, crested earlier and at a lower level than expected around midnight Friday, the National Weather Service said. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Western Wildfires
  • Western Wildfires
  • An aerial water bucket used for fighting wildfires is attached to a waiting Washington National Guard Blackhawk helicopter at the airport in Omak, Wash. on Thursday, July 24, 2014. The Washington National Guard is helping fight fires in Washington state with four Blackhawks and two Chinook helicopters. (AP Photo)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Western Wildfires
  • Western Wildfires
  • In this photo made on Monday, June 18, 2012, and made available Wednesday by the Colorado National Guard, a helicopter drops a load of water above the High Park wildfire, about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, Colo. The fire already has destroyed at least 189 homes since it was sparked by lightning June 9. (AP Photo/Colorado National Guard , Jess Geffre)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
In case the Pentagon didn't make it clear enough that climate change is a real and dangerous thing in its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) earlier this year, perhaps the new Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap (PDF) will drive the point home. Some of the content is roughly the same, but that title sure makes it sound more desperate.

The gist is that the Pentagon's futurists foresee a world where our changing climate has tremendous real-world effects, and they want to be ready. Lots of people know the climate is changing, but given the Pentagon's budget, it's nice to know they are preparing to protect us from things that might actually harm us (and not, for example, on potentially useless helicopter engines). In the 2014 CCAR, the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, writes that the Department of Defense will focus on just those sorts of threats:

A changing climate will have real impacts on our military and the way it executes its missions. The military could be called upon more often to support civil authorities, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the face of more frequent and more intense natural disasters. Our coastal installations are vulnerable to rising sea levels and increased flooding, while droughts, wildfires, and more extreme temperatures could threaten many of our training activities. Our supply chains could be impacted, and we will need to ensure our critical equipment works under more extreme weather conditions. Weather has always affected military operations, and as the climate changes, the way we execute operations may be altered or constrained.

While scientists are converging toward consensus on future climate projections, uncertainty remains. But this cannot be an excuse for delaying action.

The plan is laid out in some detail in a 20-page PDF that talks about how recurrent flooding is already affecting the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, "which houses the largest concentration of US military sites in the world" (page 2) and how "climate change will have serious implications for the Department's ability to maintain both its built and natural infrastructure, and to ensure military readiness in the future" (page 8). The Pentagon is also aware that it will likely need to conduct more humanitarian missions after natural disasters and it will need to have its weapons work no matter what the weather is like out there. We'll see if the message is heard this time.


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