In its 2009 report , the U.S. Global Change Research Program stated that climate change impacts are already being observed across the United States, and ecosystems and society are going to have to adapt to the ongoing changes in climate. As a result, Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009, directed the formation of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, jointly chaired by the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and staffed with representatives from more than 20 federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (DOD). The task force recently recommended that the federal government expand and strengthen the nation’s capacity to prepare for climate change. The task force further recommended that federal agencies make adaptation a standard part of agency planning.
Following the recommendations of the task force, as well as direction from the National Intelligence Assessment on the National Security Implications of Climate Change and the Quadrennial Defense Review, DOD is now beginning to develop policies to ensure that climate change is properly accounted for in the department’s infrastructure planning process.
Many aspects of installation infrastructure and management are subject to the effects of climate change. The challenge that is discussed most often is sea level rise and its obvious implications for coastal installations. Drought and its implications for water supply are also often discussed, as are the increase in severity of hurricanes and tropical storms and the resulting flooding and damage to structures. In this memo, we look at an obvious but seldom discussed implication of climate change for installation managers: rising temperatures and their implications for installation energy use.