The climate change program at the CIA is shutting down, two days after President Barack Obama called climate change an "immediate risk" to U.S. national security.
The CIA is closing the Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis (MEDEA) program, which gave scientists access to classified data for the purpose of discovering the relationship between climate change and security threats around the world, Mother Jones reported.
Scientists could look at data that was gathered by submarines, such as water temperature, and by spy satellites, showing topography changes, which was considered invaluable information.
"Under the MEDEA program to examine the implications of climate change, CIA participated in various projects," CIA spokesman Ryan Whaylen told Mother Jones. "These projects have been completed, and CIA will employ these research results and engage external experts as it continues to evaluate the national security implications of climate change."
It is unclear whether climate data gathered by the military will still be available to scientists by other means.
Columbia University political scientist Marc Levy told Mother Jones that the news about MEDEA was surprising.
"The climate problems are getting worse in a way that our data systems are not equipped to handle," Levy said.
"There's a growing gap between what we can currently get our hands on and what we need to respond better. So, that's inconsistent with the idea that MEDEA has run out of useful things to do," he added.
The program that began in 1992 was shut down while President George W. Bush was in office and resurrected by Obama in 2010.
Obama addressed the relationship between climate change and national security on Wednesday while giving the commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy, The New York Times reported.
"I am here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country," he said.
Republican lawmakers said in March
that they had plans to cut the funding for climate change research programs in the Defense Department and CIA.
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