Meeting to Build Connections between U.S. Climate Science and National Security Agencies


National security agencies are being called upon to address and plan for the potential consequences of climate change. These consequences, and thus broad national security interests, are found at many levels – understanding climate induced nation-state instabilities; the potential for mass migrations; and vulnerabilities to military operations, U.S. infrastructure, and the economy.  On November 18th, the National Intelligence Council (NIC), DOD, DOE, and U.S. Climate Change Science Program Office held a planning session, “Bridging the Gap between Climate Change Science and National Security,” attended by approximately 25 participants from the climate science and national security agencies, including Rich Engel, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Science and Technology, NIC. Overall, the goal of the meeting was to improve understanding of the emerging climate science information needs of the national security community while revealing basic research capabilities – models, projections, observations, and tools – that could be of use to the national security agencies. Models from DOE’s Integrated Assessment Research were discussed as examples of useful tools and capabilities for helping to bridge this gap. The meeting was viewed as a successful start to improved dialog and cooperation across these two groups.