Department of Defense
The Department of Defense (DOD)—while not supporting a formal mission dedicated to global change research—is developing policies and plans to manage and respond to the effects of climate change on DOD missions, assets, and the operational environment. Various research agencies within DOD sponsor and undertake basic research activities that concurrently satisfy both national security requirements as well as the strategic goals of USGCRP. These include the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). When applicable, the research activities of these agencies are coordinated with other Federally sponsored research via USGCRP and other entities.
Because the performance of DOD systems and platforms are influenced by environmental conditions, understanding the variability of the Earth’s environment and the potential for change is of great interest to the Department. DOD is responsible for the environmental stewardship of hundreds of installations throughout the U.S., and must continue incorporating geostrategic and operational energy considerations into force planning, requirements development, and acquisition processes. DOD relies on the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), a joint effort among DOD, DOE, and EPA, to develop climate change assessment tools and to identify the environmental variables that must be forecast with sufficient lead time to facilitate appropriate adaptive responses. Each service agency within DOD incorporates the potential impact of global change into their long-range strategic plans. For example, the Navy’s Task Force Climate Change (TFCC) assists in the development of science-based recommendations, plans, and actions to adapt to climate change. The USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) also actively investigates the impacts of climate trends for DOD and other agencies. The CRREL research program responds to the needs of the military, but much of the research also benefits the civilian sector and is funded by non-military customers such as NSF, NOAA, NASA, DOE, and state governments.