A Pentagon report reveals that more than two-thirds of operationally critical military installations are threatened by the effects of climate change over the next 20 years, including repeated flooding and wildfires.
The 22-page report released this week, titled the “Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense,” took a look at 79 “mission assurance priority installations” from the Army, Air Force and Navy that are based in the U.S.
Of the 79 installations, 53 are at risk for flooding now, and seven additional locations are at risk in two decades.
For wildfires, 36 installations are at risk currently, a number that is bumped up to 43 over 20 years. In addition, more than half are at risk from drought, and six are prone to desertification.
“The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense missions, operational plans, and installations,” the report states.
The congressionally mandated document was delivered to lawmakers on Thursday but was not officially announced or released to the public. Numerous environmental organizations released the report publicly on Friday.
The report follows the November release of the National Climate Assessment, which was created by 13 federal agencies and found that climate change is expected to quickly interrupt the way people live day-to-day, with current efforts to stop it deemed insufficient.
President Trump, however, has continued to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity and, at the time of the assessment’s release, said, “I don’t believe it.”
The Defense Department report, however, notes several examples of how military bases are already running into issues caused by climate change.
“Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, has experienced 14 inches in sea level rise since 1930,” with flooding at the base becoming “more frequent and severe,” the report states.