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Project Title:

Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on Social and Political Stresses
PIN: DBASSE-CHDGC-11-01        

Major Unit:

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division on Earth and Life Studies

Sub Unit: Board on Environmental Change and Society

RSO: Stern, Paul

Subject/Focus Area: Behavioral and Social Sciences; Environment and Environmental Studies; International Issues; National Security and Defense

Project Scope
The National Research Council would undertake a study to evaluate the evidence on possible connections between climate change and U.S. national security concerns and to identify ways to increase the ability of the intelligence community to take climate change into account in assessing political and social stresses with implications for U.S. national security.  The study panel would focus on several broad questions, such as: What are the major social and political factors affecting the relationship between climate change and outcomes relevant to U.S. national security?  What is the basis for this knowledge and how strong is it?  What research and measurement strategies would strengthen the basis for this knowledge?

The study panel would develop a conceptual framework for addressing such issues on the basis of two workshops, existing research literature, and relevant NRC studies.  It would produce a report including its conceptual framework and findings and conclusions regarding the key climate-security connections and issues of assessment of climate-related security risks examined in the workshops and the scientific literature.  It would also identify variables that should be monitored and ways that indicators of climate change, impacts, and vulnerabilities might be developed and made useful to the intelligence community in assessing climate-related threats to U.S. national security.

The project is sponsored by the U.S. government. The approximate start date is April 1, 2011. A report is expected to be issued at the end of the project in approximately 18 months.

Project Duration: 18 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 10/06/2011
 Meeting 2 - 01/12/2012
 Meeting 3 - 03/01/2012
 Meeting 4 - 06/12/2012


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis