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Climate Change Alarmists' Dramatic New Claim Doesn't Hold Water: U.S. Military Bases Are Not at Risk from Global Warming

September 21, 2016

A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists claiming U.S. military bases are threatened by climate change is heavy on hype but light of facts.

Using computer model estimates of sea level rise driven by human caused climate change, a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) claims substantial sea level rise will swamp many coastal military bases and calls on the Pentagon and Congress to devote substantial resources to protecting national security from the threat of climate change.

Contrary to these claims, many of the military bases studied are suffering from "land subsidence," the gradual sinking of land either under its own weight or under the weight of manmade structures on top of it or both. In a 2010 report submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science found that 50 percent of the relative sea-level rise at Chesapeake Bay water-level stations between 1976 and 2007 was due to subsidence.

In addition, the Pentagon's estimates of sea-level rise at various military bases examined by UCS are far lower than the estimates UCS touts in its study. The Defense Department projections for sea level rise at the Naval Station in Norfolk, for example, are only one-quarter of an inch and one inch by 2050.

Bonner R. Cohen is a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a position he has held since 2002.