A U.S. intelligence report published Wednesday linked climate change to national security, stating that in the next five years, global warming will pose security threats in the form of “extreme weather events and from the exacerbation of currently strained conditions, like water shortages.”
The report was prepared by the National Intelligence Council, which is made up of experts from both the public and private sectors who advise the Director of National Intelligence. The report warns of climate change-driven migration, saying: “Over 20 years, the net effects of climate change on the patterns of global human movement and statelessness could be dramatic, perhaps unprecedented. If unanticipated, they could overwhelm government infrastructure and resources, and threaten the social fabric of communities.”
The report states that in addition to disputes over usable water and cultivable land, climate change will also pose threats to U.S. military operations and its bases. It warns of the possibility of entire nations collapsing due to the effects of climate change.
Some scientific studies blame global warming for sparking the Syrian conflict. According to one study, a drought caused due to climate change and unsustainable water use forced hundreds of thousands to migrate, and this mass migration to urban areas led to the destabilization of the country.
The intelligence report was published the same day President Barack Obama signed a memorandum ordering 20 federal agencies to take into account the impact of climate change in “the development and implementation of all national security policies and plans.”