In this second report in a series on climate change – How the Climate Crisis Changes the Security Landscape?, we will look in more detail at the security challenges arising from climate change and the factors contributing to them. A subsequent report will examine the importance of risk management in relation to climate change, before a concluding report ahead of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference – COP 28 – which opens in Dubai on 30 November 2023.
Recent headlines have highlighted the pace at which climate crisis is worsening. According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the global annual average temperature increase above pre-industrial levels is now likely to breach 1.5C – the limit established as part of the Paris Agreement at COP 21 in 2015 – within the next five years. While this increase might prove to be temporary, it nevertheless reflects a trend that is heading in the wrong direction.
Elsewhere, data collected by the Met Office shows that average ocean surface temperatures in April and May 2023 were much higher than in any previous year, since monitoring began in 1850. This is thought to be down to a combination of climate change and the natural effects of El Niño, the cyclical weather phenomenon that originates in the Pacific. It results in warming both at sea and on land, as well as wetter conditions in the Gulf of Mexico and southern US but drier weather in tropical regions.
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