British Military Bases at Risk to Extreme Climate
In 2012, ASP noted that climate change could put American bases around the world at risk. In that report, the National Intelligence Council was quoted that “more than 30 U.S. military installations were already facing elevated levels of risk from rising sea levels.”
As rainstorms inundate England, the British military has reached similar conclusions. The Telegraph reports that the British Ministry of Defense is concerned about the effect rising sea levels and increasing flooding due to climate change could have on its military facilities by waterways:
Image custom made, using Google Maps, of British
military bases deemed threatened by climate change.
Blue = Navy, Red = Air Force, Green = Army
Not Pictured: RAF Base in Akrotiri, Cyprus.
Click image for a zoom-able map
Many of the military’s most important facilities, including RAF Brize Norton, the Royal Navy bases at Plymouth and Portsmouth, and the Ministry of Defence’s headquarters in London, face a “direct impact” from floods by 2020.
The MoD should even consider the “long-term viability” of maintaining its bases in London given how vulnerable the capital is to flooding, which could in an extreme situation knock out power, water, communications and transport networks for months.
One memo lists 13 of the most important military bases [see map] in Britain and notes that nine of them could face a “direct impact” on their “core location” from floods by 2020 if nothing is done to tackle the emissions linked to climate change.
The military bases’ uncertain reliability is just another variable the military must take into account. Relocating, upgrading, or reinforcing is an open ended cost military planners must account for, but often do not, and further stretch already thinning budgets.
This is just another reminder of how far reaching an effect climate change has on the world and international security.