Tags: Barack Obama | Climate Change | pentagon | military | arctic ice | climate change | shipping

Pentagon Charged With Measuring Arctic Ice by White House

Pentagon Charged With Measuring Arctic Ice by White House
(Anthony Hathaway/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 22 June 2015 11:18 AM

The Obama administration has charged the Pentagon with the task of measuring shrinking Arctic ice.

In addition to its role in fighting threats around the world such as the Islamic State terror group, the military will now monitor "the changing Arctic conditions," according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which looked at work the Defense Department (DOD) is doing in the Arctic.

Changing ice levels could mean an even greater military presence in the Arctic, the administration says, which is why committing time and resources to closely watching the possible effects of climate change there is needed.

"Decreasing seasonal sea ice in the Arctic has made some Arctic waters navigable for longer periods and, as a result, may contribute to new economic opportunities in commercial shipping, oil exploration, and tourism," the study says. "This could eventually increase the need for a U.S. military and homeland security presence in the Arctic, particularly in the maritime environment."

Toward that end, the Pentagon is the government agency in charge of keeping tabs on Arctic ice levels, which the GAO report says could help prevent unnecessary investments from being made in the region.

"Difficulty in developing accurate sea ice models, variability in the Arctic’s climate, and the uncertain rate of activity in the region create challenges for DOD to balance the risk of having inadequate capabilities or insufficient capacity when required to operate in the region with the cost of making premature or unnecessary investments," the study says.

"DOD plans to mitigate this risk by monitoring the changing Arctic conditions to determine the appropriate timing for capability investments," it adds.

According to The Washington Times, President Barack Obama has began tying climate change to national security more frequently as part of his goal of promoting his massive environmental agenda to the public.

When Obama gave a speech at the Coast Guard in May, he devoted almost the entire speech to climate change and how the role the military is expected to play in it.

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The Obama administration has charged the Pentagon with the task of measuring shrinking Arctic ice.
pentagon, military, arctic ice, climate change, shipping
334
2015-18-22
Monday, 22 June 2015 11:18 AM
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