Does sea rise threaten our military bases?

The following is from Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson. Watch the video by clicking the link below.

Some experts claim rising sea levels may pose a risk to our national security, with strategic military bases facing chronic flooding…and loss of land. Critics say the threat’s not real. Lisa Fletcher reports.

Key military bases may be at risk, from a different type of enemy: higher seas and stronger storms. 

Lisa: There are reports that sea level rise is going to impact our military’s ability to function. 

Ed Richards: Sea level rise affects the military both as risks to facilities and its strategic mission. Not surprisingly, a whole lot of naval bases are in low places. 

LSU law Professor Ed Richards is an expert in disaster management. He’s studied the threat facing our military. 

This year, the Department of Defense issued a report, saying the effects of a changing climate are a “national security issue,” impacting missions and bases. 

Ed Richards: It’s all of the strategic infrastructures where people on the shore live, where the ship stores are kept. Those are all subject to what we term nuisance flooding. But as nuisance flooding becomes every few days you flood, you can’t really function. 

Hurricane Michael hit Air Force base Tyndall near Panama City Florida in 2018, damaging a fleet of F-22 Fighter Jets worth a billion dollars. 

Ed Richards: And that was a major strategic base for the Air Force. There was another major base very close by. If the storm took a slightly different track, it would have taken out both of them. 

In 2016, a panel of military experts and Center for Climate and Security, broke down the costs of rising seas on our military bases. 

Among their findings, Naval Air Station Key West. By 2070, high tides could flood up to 95 percent of the station. Portsmouth’s naval shipyard in Maine is in charge of the Navy’s nuclear powered submarines. By 2050, it could be flooded between 80 and 190 times every year. California’s Camp Pendleton, one of the largest marine bases in America, also faces the threat of rising sea levels that cost cost up to $1.6 billion to recover from. 

Still – the roots and reality of Climate change remain in question by critics. 

Lisa: There are people who say that climate change, sea level rise is really a liberal contrivance and is not something that is real or needs to be worried about. What’s your position on it? 

Richards: The one inescapable sign of climate change is sea level rise The rate of sea level rise has been increasing over the last 40 years. So sea level rise is the one thing you really can’t explain away. 

Lisa: The Government Accountability Office took a look at how military bases are responding to the rising threat. 15 out of 23 were considering weather and climate change in their plans. 

Lisa: How seriously do you think the Department of Defense is taking the issue of sea level rise and climate change? 

Richards: Previous to this administration, the Department of Defense was a leader in this. They’ve published reports for 10 or 15 years. Looking at the risks, both the geopolitical risks and the infrastructure risks, they’re still issuing reports that are pretty honest, although there’s more and more pressure on them as with other government agencies to stop talking about climate change. 

Lisa: Should military bases be moved to higher ground? 

Richards: Yes. The Congress right now, House is asking the military to do a projection on the cost of moving bases and that may be part of the next military appropriations bill is an estimate of the cost of moving or reconfiguring bases to deal with climate change risk.

Watch the video by clicking the link below:

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6 thoughts on “Does sea rise threaten our military bases?”

  1. Duh….our military leaders can’t be that stupid that they can’t figure out that they should maybe fly fighter jets out of the path of a major storm. Like they can’t see it coming. Like they can;t predict the rising tides. Are you serious. I think earthquakes are pretty much unpredictable, and Kamikaze suicide pilots. The biggest threat to the world today are idiots like Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, the murderous Hilliary Clinton and individuals who make 13 million dollars in one day.

  2. Go back and examine what Einstein wrote about global shifting. …and the reversal of the poles that occur every so many gazillion years.. We an expect sea rise, zonal temperature changes, etc…..not just climate change, but earth change!!…Lenore

  3. This article has three factual errors:

    1. It assumes AGW is responsible for ‘accelerated’ sea-level rise. Remember how 40 years ago ‘expurts’ claimed the maldive islands would sink out of sight? They haven’t. In fact, they are expanding infrastructure like airports, generators and motels for a burgeoning tourist industry. Bankers don’t fund investments that self destruct, and insurers don’t insure them.

    2. A billion dollars of F-22 fighters were not destroyed at Tyndall. Due to a lack of spare parts, 17 of them couldn’t be evacuated and were put in hangars. Some were damaged by the storm, but all have been repaired and flown to Eglin or Langley.

    About 95% of Tyndall’s buildings were not up to code – having been built before there were hurricane codes, so upgrading to those codes plus modernizing infrastructure by burying electrical, comm and fuel lines. Some claim $5Billion to do that.

    3. Maureen Bernardy is exactly right about land subsidence. The military wanted remote locations for ‘secret’ bases during the buildup for WWII, and states donated worthless swamps, salt marshes and muck to DOD for that purpose. As they build canals and pump out groundwater, the water drains and marshes sink. As a tide gauge sinks with the land, it looks like a sea-level rise. But it isn’t, and you only know that by comparing elevation changes to other locations or precision GPS. Subsidence is why some locations get more storm-surge damage than others.

  4. The climate has been changing for millions of years. The Vostok ice core samples show that the earth has been changing for a long time.

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