Who’s Still Fighting Climate Change? The U.S. Military

Flooding will only worsen as the seas rise and the planet warms. Sea level at Norfolk has risen 14.5 inches in the century since World War I, when the naval station was built. By 2100, Norfolk station will flood 280 times a year, according to one estimate by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

.. “We don’t talk about climate change,” Capt. Dean VanderLey told visiting journalists in a tour of the base before the election. “We talk about sea-level rise. You can measure it.”
.. The Defense Department operates more than 555,000 facilities on 28 million acres of land with a replacement value of $850 billion
.. In the Arctic, the region warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, the combination of melting sea ice, thawing permafrost and sea-level rise is eroding the Alaska shoreline enough to damage several Air Force radar early warning and communication installations. At one base, half a runway has given way to erosion, preventing large planes from using it. Damage to a seawall has allowed waves to wash onto the runway at another base. Thawing permafrost has also affected access to training areas.

.. An Air Force radar installation to help track space junk, built on an atoll in the Marshall Islands, at a cost of $1 billion, is projected to be underwater within two decades, the Associated Press reported.
.. “Timing is critical,” he says. “Just like timing for sorties out of Norfolk in advance of a hurricane is critical—if you wait too late, you can’t get the ships out because the seas are too high. The same kind of thing is going on with sea-level rise. You can’t wait for a certain yes, it’s going to be here or not. You’ve got to make decisions in advance, based on the uncertainty that you have.”