He who would rule

Climate change in the Arctic and its implications for U.S. national security

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Anthropogenic climate change will have its greatest effect on the Arctic, which will experience impacts ranging from increasing ambient air temperature to glacier and sea ice melting to permafrost thaw. This altered environment will result in new national security concerns for circumpolar nations such as the United States, including increased Arctic access by Russia and other nations; competition over newly accessible fossil fuel resources; and loss of Arctic military facilities resulting from permafrost thaw and land subsidence. Although these effects will be felt cumulatively over the coming decades, the United States must make the necessary strategic changes now in order to prevail in this new security environment. The United States should retrain and re-equip military forces for greater Arctic operability, work toward a clear legal understanding of open sea access in newly ice-free waters, and consider implementing a joint circumpolar security apparatus to facilitate adaptation to this new globally-warmed Arctic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-222
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Public and International Affairs
Volume18
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

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Arctic
national security
climate change
Military
Russia
air
water
resources
experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

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abstract = "Anthropogenic climate change will have its greatest effect on the Arctic, which will experience impacts ranging from increasing ambient air temperature to glacier and sea ice melting to permafrost thaw. This altered environment will result in new national security concerns for circumpolar nations such as the United States, including increased Arctic access by Russia and other nations; competition over newly accessible fossil fuel resources; and loss of Arctic military facilities resulting from permafrost thaw and land subsidence. Although these effects will be felt cumulatively over the coming decades, the United States must make the necessary strategic changes now in order to prevail in this new security environment. The United States should retrain and re-equip military forces for greater Arctic operability, work toward a clear legal understanding of open sea access in newly ice-free waters, and consider implementing a joint circumpolar security apparatus to facilitate adaptation to this new globally-warmed Arctic.",
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