This report — https://dsjournal.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1058589&action= — represents a high-level assessment of the vulnerability of DoD installations to five climate/weather impacts: recurrent flooding, drought, desertification, wildfires, and thawing permafrost. From a resources perspective, DoD is incorporating climate resilience as a cross- cutting consideration for our planning and decision-making processes, and not as a separate program or specific set of actions.
Some impacts are closely related or intensify the effects of each other (e.g., drought, desertification, wildfire), whereas others are somewhat related (e.g., coastal flooding driven by changing sea level can impact river conveyance, compounding riverine flood levels for tidally- influenced rivers). Taken together, however, these impacts help describe the overall vulnerabilities to DoD installations from changing future conditions.
About two-thirds of the 79 installations addressed in this report are vulnerable to current or future recurrent flooding and more than one-half are vulnerable to current or future drought. About one-half are vulnerable to wildfires. It is important to note that areas subject to wildfire may then experience serious mudslides or erosion when rains follow fires. Impacts are dispersed around the country. Not surprisingly, impacts vary by region for coastal flooding, with greater impacts to the East coast and Hawaii than the West coast. Desertification vulnerabilities are limited to the sites on the list with arid soils; these are in California, New Mexico, and Nevada. Drought vulnerabilities are more widely dispersed across the country. Wildfire and recurrent flooding impacts are the most widely dispersed.
For the most part, if an installation was currently vulnerable to a specific factor, it will generally be deemed vulnerable to that same factor in the future. In a few instances, locations considered not currently vulnerable were deemed to be vulnerable in the future. Seven installations not currently vulnerable to impacts from recurrent flooding were estimated to be vulnerable in the future. Five sites not currently vulnerable to drought were deemed vulnerable in the future. Seven sites not currently vulnerable to wildfires were considered vulnerable in the future. A number of installations are subject to more than one vulnerability, most notably recurrent flooding, drought, and wildfires.
It is relevant to point out that “future” in this analysis means only 20 years in the future. Projected changes will likely be more pronounced at the mid-century mark; vulnerability
analyses to mid- and late-century would likely reveal an uptick in vulnerabilities (if adaptation strategies are not implemented.)
The Department considers resilience in the installation planning and basing processes to include impacts on built and natural infrastructure. This includes consideration of environmental vulnerabilities in installation master planning, management of natural resources, design and construction standards, utility systems/service, and emergency management operations.
Climate and environmental resilience efforts span all levels and lines of effort, and are not framed as a separate program. Additionally, resources for assessing and responding to climate impacts are provided within existing DoD missions, funds, and capabilities and subsumed under existing risk management processes. The Military Departments provide most of the resources for on-the-ground activities in the Geographic Combatant Commands.