Last year the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Climate and Security released a climate threat threat assessment—a list of countries and areas which could be most dramatically affected by rising global temperatures. This assessment was based on assessments by dozens of other governmental agencies, and reviewed climate-related publications, media reports, and independent climate predictions.
The following is a summary of the climate threats (in order of likelihood) the report identified:
1. Food scarcity and the collapse of agriculture
2. Migration of populations to lower-income areas
3. Bulk destruction of forests
4. Water availability
8. Loss of natural resources
9. Conflict and the use of force to resolve conflict
10. Economic change and economic disruption
11. Diseases and climate impacts on the water supply
12. World instability
13. Kidnappings and other forms of violent uprising
14. Violent crime and other forms of public disorder
15. A worse Holocaust
16. The work of the United Nations and the Economic and Social Council
17. The Good Life and the Safest Neighborhoods
18. Higher and broader-reaching environmental, social, and economic consequences of climate change
Climate-related threats may not necessarily affect every country in the same way, but do affect many nations in equal measure. The list of threats is summarizing the importance of climate change as a threat to human survival. Others are far more extreme. What makes a threat most likely and where are they going to affect the world?
Climate risks are global, perhaps too global for any region to adequately cover them, leaving in their wake a huge impact on individuals and the entire planet. There will be millions of people in Bangladesh, for example, living under rising seas as the country warms at almost 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Climate change and the severity of the threat to human survival that it brings make the list of those global threats one of the most important of all, and a central feature of the devastating impacts of climate change.
Climate threats are linked to policy strategies which aim to limit global temperature increases, which many think must be reached within the next couple of decades. Climate change threatens several of the most important structural components of our economy—and the economy is particularly threatening when its economic model differs from our own. The list of threats below also highlights the importance of national security-specific policies that seek to mitigate the risks of climate change.