Panel 1: “Federal Agency Vulnerability to Climate Change Risks:  What is at stake for the Hampton Roads Region?”


 The panel discussion started with each member giving some background information on the work they are doing relating to potential impacts from sea-level rise at their respective facilities.   Mr. Bundick’s job is to consider environmental involvement of any planned activities at the NASA / Wallops Island facility (Wallops).  This facility is located due west from Chincoteague, Virginia and is the only civilian run launch facility in the United States.  NASA/Wallops Island was established on July 4th, 1945 in response to Langley Research Center’s desire to find a safe location to test rockets.  It is a field base for Goddard Space Flight Center, which is a world leader in climate change and sea level rise research.  A number of other agencies have facilities within Wallops Island including NOAA, the U.S. Coast Guard … [Read more...]

“The Climate Change Challenge:  An Update from Washington” – Christina DeConcini, World Resources Institute


Ms. DeConcini is the Director of Government Affairs for the World Resources Institute (WRI).  WRI is an environmental think tank with its majority of work in developing countries, but also does work in climate change and sea level rise in the US as well.   Ms. DeConcini started out her presentation by touching on a few key items discussed during Friday’s session.  She stressed that while 1/3 of the United States is having an unusually cold weather this winter, it is all about trends and not single events or seasons.  To this she added the facts that the U.S. has had 346 consecutive months hotter than the 20th century average and this is the 37th consecutive year with temperatures above the global average.  These trends in global warming have had substantial and disastrous consequences.  Since 1980, $1 trillion have been … [Read more...]

Managing Climate Risks in the Global Context:  Why Adaptation Matters for National Security

Rear Admiral Jonathan White

Presented by: Rear Admiral Jonathan White, Oceanographer of the Navy Jonathan White was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in August 2012 and became Director of Task Force Climate Change and the Navy Deputy to NOAA. White began his talk with a quip that he was excited to come down from DC for this event, as he rarely gets to talk to lawyers for free. In talking about the Navy's long running inquiry into climate change, he listed three primary issues that they are focused on: 1) the Arctic, in terms of maritime responsibility; 2) the role of the Navy in coastal policy, noting that Navy bases are very vulnerable; and 3) global security. “Everything going on with climate change has to do with water,” he noted, listing the acidification of oceans, increasing droughts, and flooding in the Himalayas that is occurring for the first … [Read more...]

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