11 Mar 2011:
U.S. Navy Must Prepare For
Challenges in Warmer World, Study Says
A warming world will pose major challenges to the U.S. Navy in the coming century,
including the need to secure shipping lanes opened by the melting Arctic Ocean and a threat to $100 billion in Navy installations imperiled by rising seas, according to a report commissioned by the Navy. The 15-month study by the National Research Council
concluded that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that will require the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to significantly expand their missions. These will include operating in Arctic areas once largely off-limits to surface ships, increasing disaster-relief missions to help people displaced by the major storms that are expected to become more frequent as global temperatures rise, and being called on to deal with growing political instability that could be caused by increasing drought and other climate-related upheaval. Another important challenge is the impact of rising seas, which could force the Navy to relocate or protect many of its installations if, as expected, sea levels rise by three feet or more in the 21st century.
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.