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Environment & Energy Report

Pentagon Warns of Dire Risk to Bases, Troops from Climate Change

Jan. 18, 2019, 5:36 PM

The U.S. Defense Department has issued a dire report on how climate change could affect the nation’s armed forces and security, warning that rising seas could inundate coastal bases and drought-fueled wildfires could endanger inland ones.

The 22-page assessment delivered to Congress on Jan. 17 says about two-thirds of 79 mission-essential military installations in the U.S. that were reviewed are vulnerable to current or future flooding, with more than half vulnerable to current or future drought. About half also are at risk from wildfires, including the threat of mudslides and erosion from rains following the blazes.

Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia.
Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

“The effects of...

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