Climate change in East Asia, Pacific impacts Defense Department

Climate change in East Asia, Pacific impacts Defense Department
The littoral combat ship USS Montgomery conducts routine operations near the Panamanian-flagged drillship West Capella, May 7, 2020. Photo credit U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Fred

The defense secretary has called climate change an "existential threat." Last spring, at the Leaders Summit on Climate, Lloyd J. Austin III highlighted particular challenges in the Pacific associated with the ways "rising sea levels and more frequent and intense storms put individuals, families and whole communities at risk — while pushing the limits of our collective capacity to respond."

The particular challenges in the Pacific region were also highlighted by the official performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities at a Congressional hearing in July that focused specifically on climate change.