On January 22, 2019 the U.S. Department of Defense issued a startling report of findings of the impact of climate change on the nation’s military bases. The issuance of report is required by law as part of the government appropriations process. Especially significant to us was that this new report clearly and decisively confirmed that more severe recurring flooding is a greater problem on the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. than previous reports predicted. (The report includes Virginia Navy facilities but apparently not Dover AFB that is closest to us across the Delaware Bay). In other words, our observations of more severe flooding are not ‘in our heads’, as some politicians contend, but are actually documented at most military bases across the country.
One of the most significant findings of the report was that frequent flooding is now an issue at 2/3 of the nation’s military bases and is already costing us more money and loss of use. The flooding impact now is at the level that was previously forecast for 2040. In other words, flooding is a more serious problem than earlier forecasts. This confirms our anecdotal observations on the Delaware Bay coastal shoreline.
In the past week other news reports said that the President’s office intends to hide or challenge this information by offering positions of power to a few people who oppose the prevailing scientific views on climate change. We would have dismissed this as the usual political bantering except that now the official government report now seems to be removed from the Department of Defense web site.
The report was originally published on the official government site at: https://media.defense.gov/2019/Jan/18/2002081124/-1/-1/1/https://media.defense.gov/2019/Jan/18/2002081124/-1/-1/1/FINAL-CLIMATE-REPORT.PDF. That repot has been removed.
An archived copy of the report is still available on a non-governmental archive site: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5689153-DoD-Final-Climate-Report.html. The archived report appears to be based on a scan, not a PDF document, so some features are lacking.
We join with scientists and other data-driven public policy decisions makers to denounce the hiding of facts and information for political purposes.