Challenges for the Intelligence Community

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           Climate Change
    Impact on National Security

                     Rich Engel
                Maj Gen USAF (Ret.)
Director, Climate Change and State Stability Program
            National Intelligence Council
           This Briefing is UNCLASSIFIED



   To provide results from a National
  Intelligence Assessment (NIA) on the
national security ramifications of global
 climate change and IC climate science


• National Intelligence Assessment (NIA)
  –   National Intelligence Priorities Framework
  –   Terms of Reference
  –   Outreach Efforts
  –   Scope Note
  –   NIA Process
  –   Summary Observations
  –   Follow-On Research
• Challenges for the Intelligence Community
  – Process Perspectives
  – DDNIA Testimony
  – IC Wish List

         National Intelligence
         Priorities Framework
Environment and Natural Resources
•   Physical environment
•   Weather
•   Climate
•   Geography
•   Terrain
•   Urbanization

         Terms of Reference

• Develop a NIA to support
  – NIPF Topic Environment and Natural
  – Bipartisan Congressional Language
• Challenges and Opportunities
  – Out to 2030
• Goal was an UNCLASSIFIED report


              Terms of Reference
• An impact is significant when
  – Causes a noticeable – even if temporary – degradation
    in one of the elements on national power
     • Geopolitical
     • Military
     • Economic
     • Social cohesion
• Directly influences the US Homeland
• Indirectly influences the United States
  – Major military ally
  – Major economic partner
• Global impact indirectly consumes US

              Outreach Efforts
• Joint Global Change Research Institute
  – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  – Current Peer Reviewed Literature
• US Climate Change Research Program
• Center for Naval Analysis
• Center for International Earth Science Information
  Network at Columbia University
• RAND Corporation
• Global Business Network
• Arizona State University
• Naval Post Graduate School
• Center for Strategic and International Studies
• Center for New American Security

                 Scope Note
• The IC did not
 – Evaluate the science of climate change
 – Independently analyze underlying drivers
 – Assess the degree to which climate change will
• The IC did rely upon
 – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
 – Peer-reviewed research
 – Contracted research

               Scope Note

• In the NIA we did not address mitigation
• Broke new ground by considering impact
  on individual states
   – Limited assessment of the United
• Briefly address economic impacts of
  climate change


               NIA Process

• IC used a fundamentally different type
  of tradecraft
• Three phase approach
  – Understand the Science
  – Get opinions of outside regional experts
  – Provide our judgments and analysis


         Summary Observations
• Overall we judge
  – Global climate change will have wide-ranging implications
    for US national security interests over the next 20 years
     • Will aggravate existing problems—such as poverty,
       social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual
       leadership, and weak political institutions—that threaten
       state stability.
  – Climate change alone is highly unlikely to trigger failure in
    any state
  – Out to 2030 it will potentially contribute to
     • Intra- or, less likely, interstate conflict
     • Possibly over access to scarce water resources

          Summary Observations
• The United States will be less affected and better
  equipped to deal with climate change
   – May even enjoy a slight net benefit
      • Increased agricultural yield
   – However, infrastructure repair and replacement, emissions
     mitigation, and emergency response will be costly
• Impacts on other states will vary
   – Sub-Saharan Africa is the most vulnerable region
   – For Africa in general
      • Higher rainfall anomalies and more intense and
        widespread droughts are projected

        Summary Observations
• Three principle paths for GCC to impact national
  – Changes in water availability – people move
  – Changes in agriculture productivity – people move

 Movements themselves may or may not be significant to
 state stability -- will depend upon local circumstances.

  – Damages to economically significant infrastructure from
    extreme weather events.
  – Change is disease patterns (human, plant, animal)


               Follow-On Research
• Arctic ―Geopolitical Game‖
   – Explore national interests of an opening Arctic
   – Appropriate venue for discussion on Arctic issues
   – Played in London June 2009 with 10 nations/consultants
   – Arctic Council and International Maritime Organization are
     the preferred venues
• Identify the states most likely to have significant
  stress, humanitarian disasters
   – Center of Naval Analysis Report provided in August 2009
   – Africa hardest hit

            Follow-On Research
• Country/Region Studies
  – Use three phase methodology of the NIA
     • Commissioned Research on each Country/Region
     • Workshops with outside experts
     • IC assessment
  – Six country/regions – India, China, Russia,
    Southeast Asia and Pacific Island, North Africa,
    Mexico and the Caribbean


             Follow-On Research
• Foreign Reactions to aggressive US
  mitigation/energy transformation decisions
  – SRI Consulting Business Intelligence crafted an
    aggressive transition scenario to 2030
     • US essentially free of non-North American fossil fuel
  – Panel of experts looked at the scenario
     • Crafted possible geopolitical ramifications
  – Project on hold for now – we will revisit this after

Follow-On Research


            Challenges for the
         Intelligence Community
• Collection – this is about the science
  – Need specificity and resolution
      • Below the country level – water and temperature
          – What does it mean for agriculture, disease, animals,
      • Extreme weather events
          – Where, what frequency, what infrastructure at risk?
      • Tipping Points (U)
• Analysis – this is about state stability
  – How will humans react? (U)

  Continued research to model social human dynamics at the
   individual and society level could have huge payoffs. (U)

             Process Perspective
              Global Business Network

                     GHG Emissions Approach

Political        INFERENCE             Security Implications
Science                                                            Security
Social                            Political and Social Movements

Science                                         4
                                         Human Impacts             Group II
Science                                         3

                                       Biophysical Impacts
Physical                                                           Working
Science                                                            Group I
                                      Geophysical Impacts

              SRES A2               GHG Emissions Scenarios
                   SRES A2


                Testimony of DDNIA

    To answer the question of national security impacts from Global
Climate Change, we needed first and foremost to understand what
the future climate might look like and what the physical and
ecosystem impacts of change might be. For this, we were critically
dependant upon open source science and, as I indicated, elected to
use the IPCC reports and other peer reviewed scientific material.
From an intelligence perspective, the present level of scientific
understanding of future climate change lacks the resolution and
specificity we would like for detailed analysis at the state level. Most
of the IPCC material is based upon an understanding of how the
climate may change at the global level. We require improved and
better validated regional and local models (accounting for regional
and local processes) of strategic climate change, particularly models
that provide details on hydrological consequences and changes in the
frequency and intensity of extreme events.

                 Testimony of DDNIA
     Finally, there is a need for better information on physical,
agricultural, economic, social, and political impacts from climate
change at state and regional levels. This research does not necessarily
require classified sources or methods and may be performed in an
open and unclassified environment. From an IC perspective we do not
seek to duplicate capability that exists in the open scientific
community, but we will benefit from continued support for research to
resolve the above issues.
     From an analytical perspective, the IC examines state stability as a
critical part of determining potential threats to US interests. When
evaluating state stability, water shortages, disease, and the
environment are considered along with other factors. The IC also
considers the effects that climate change negotiations and mitigation
efforts will have on the US economy, its trade goals, and its diplomatic
relationships with the international community.

            Testimony of DDNIA

    Near term, additional analysis is required to determine the
world-wide potential vulnerability to storm tracks and severe
weather. This analysis should consider changes in anticipated
storm tracks and severe weather patterns, populations and
infrastructure at risk, and local physical factors. In addition,
detailed agriculture vulnerability should be studied; this would
include anticipated changes in temperature, precipitation levels
and patterns. Much, if not all, of this analysis can be
performed with open source data, and much of the basic
analytical work can be performed outside of the Intelligence
Community by academia or non-IC components of the US


             Testimony of DDNIA

    Our analysis could be greatly improved if we had a much
better understanding and explanation of past and current
human behavior. Continued research to model social human
dynamics at the individual and society level would support this
improved understanding. This would necessitate the ability to
integrate social, economic (infrastructure, agriculture, and
manufacturing), military, and political models. Continued
research in these efforts—while a significant challenge—could
have high analytical payoff. In the interim, assessing the future
of a society’s evolution will by necessity be a scenario-driven
exercise and an imprecise science. The continued use of outside
experts is critical to our success.


                    IC Wish List
                     “Work in Progress”

 Objective: Improve our ability to:
 • Assess impacts of climate change on
   nation-states and regions
 • Understand the adaptive capacity of

This enables us to better understand the issues of state stability
 and the impacts of climate change on the United States, our
              allies, and our economic partners


               IC Wish List
               “Work in Progress”

• Improve climate modeling at the regional
  scale – to include interactions of global,
  regional, and local processes to include:
  – Temperature,
  – Precipitation,
  – Winds,
  – Sea ice, and
  – Sea level.


                IC Wish List
                “Work in Progress”

• Make predictions in decadal increments of
  physical climate with at least 60 km
  – Residual uncertainty limited to the inherent
    uncertainty of natural and human processes
• Model outputs should be statistically
  realistic—with know confidence levels—
  across a decade of time


             IC Wish List
              “Work in Progress”

• For water systems
  – Develop water supply models for rain, snow,
    glacier melt, river flows, and aquifers
  – Improve representation of ice and glacier
    melt and the near- and medium-term
    consequences for human settlements
  – Integrated demographic projections
  – Consider not just annual availability but
    suitability for human relevant activity –
    drinking, agriculture, livestock, etc.


               IC Wish List
               “Work in Progress”

• Use improved climate models to:
  – Develop agricultural models to produce
    accurate production estimates for
     • Crops grown currently
     • Crops that may be substituted
  – Predict changes in ocean temperature, pH,
    and marine life carrying capacity so as to
    predict changes in location and quantity of
    fish stocks


             IC Wish List
              “Work in Progress”

• For extreme weather events, model to
  – Provide data on expected frequency,
    intensity, and duration of extreme weather
    events (tropical storms, tornados, severe
    rains, high winds, etc.)
  – Predict damage to valuable infrastructure or
    threats to human habitation
• Model coastal inundation to understand
  increased vulnerability to storm surges
  from even modest sea level changes.

               Climate Change
         Impact on National Security


  “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden
          of Eden to work it and take care of it”

                                         Genesis 2:15