The Climate/Environment program works to understand and prepare the nation for the national security implications of climate change.
National security is Sandia National Laboratories’ foundational mission. Our nation’s security can only be achieved in a stable international environment. Sandia maintains close working relationships within the many agencies of the intelligence community and the DoD. There is a growing recognition of the importance of the impact of climate change on emergent security dynamics and intervention capabilities as documented in a series of reports. The UK Ministry of Defense previously devoted more than one-third of its analysis on threats due to climate change (Global Strategic Trends: 2007–2036). The climate instability we now anticipate will produce conditions that increase border tensions, reduce the abilities of allies to respond, and provide an environment ripe for breeding terrorism and extremism. Most importantly, the DoD report, “Impacts of Climate Change,” notes the critical need to substantiate climate concerns by developing analytical tools to ensure self consistency, realism, validation, and a concrete foundation for strategic/tactical and operational execution.
The Atmospheric Radiation Monitoring (ARM) program is the Department of Energy’s largest global climate-change research effort. Created in 1989 to help resolve scientific uncertainties related to global climate change, the ARM program focuses on the role of clouds and aerosols.
The uncertainty in climate change and its impacts is of great concern to the international community. While the ever-growing body of scientific evidence substantiates present climate change, the driving concern about this issue lies in the consequences it poses to humanity. Policy makers will most likely need to make decisions about climate policy before climate scientists have quantified all relevant uncertainties about the impacts of climate change. Sandia scientists seek to develop a risk-assessment methodology to evaluate uncertain future climatic conditions.
A growing consensus exists among climate scientists, economists, and policy makers that the link between man-made emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and climate instability is sufficiently likely to motivate global actions. Energy use and energy generation are at the heart of the problem, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasting that global electricity generation will nearly double from 2005 to 2030.
The safety, security, and sustainability of our fresh/potable water supply are national security issues. Nationally, water is a critical part of our economy through the connection to energy production and to our economic prosperity and security.