Date of Graduation

Fall 2012


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

John Rose


climate instability, Arctic, United States Navy, ice, security, defense

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


The far-reaching effects of an unstable climate have the potential to impact national security interests. Despite the recognized negative impacts, considerations of this facet of environmental security have not been comprehensively incorporated into United States defense policy. In light of climate instability's potential to challenge the United States military's preparedness, this thesis reviews the origins of the climate-and-defense debate, examines climate instability considerations for defense planning and policy, and proposes actions to strengthen United States military readiness to preempt climate-driven surprises. Although research indicates that climate instability poses a challenge for United States national security, the Services already possess programs and infrastructure necessary for assessing and minimizing the negative operational impacts caused by climate instability at the strategic level. Improved cooperation between the defense organizations and external scientific institutions will strengthen defense policy and bolster national security interests.


© Kayla R. Hinrichs

Campus Only