Flashpoints | Environment

The new U.N. climate report confirms that significantly higher global temperatures are now a near-term certainty. National security planning needs to take a warmer, less stable world into account.

This week, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest summary report. As expected, the report is not exactly suffused with optimism. It finds that the Earth is now virtually guaranteed to warm at least 1.5 degrees Celsius over the preindustrial baseline in the coming decades, even if a massive global effort succeeds in reducing emissions over the next few decades. By itself, that will create more extreme weather events, and it may also precipitate other unpredictable but severe systemic collapses, like the shutdown of the Gulf Stream.

At this point, a significantly…

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