Bottom Line Up Front At the 2019 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which kicked off this week, topics including Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia and global climate change are dominating the headlines. A recent report concluded that without a significant effort to reduce carbon emissions, the next two decades ...

In the 1979 film Mad Max, Mel Gibson played a police officer who navigated an apocalyptic world plagued by a scarcity of resources. Sixteen years later, in the movie Waterworld, Kevin Costner portrayed a man who had to find a way to survive after the polar ice cap had completely ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On August 8, the United Nations released a new report that details accelerating climate change and its negative impact on global food supplies. A major second-order effect of climate change is an increase in migration, as individuals seek to relocate in hopes of escaping poverty, ...

There was more to learn from last Wednesday’s House hearing on climate change, than the White House barring a senior analyst from the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) from submitting a paper that challenged President Trump’s views on the issue. In fact, Rod Schoonover, the INR’s Office of ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Even as President Trump occasionally mocks the science underpinning global warming, the trend lines show an undeniable and intensifying climate change. Researchers are studying melting glaciers in Antarctica and the Himalayas; environmental changes in these two regions will drastically impact the planet. By the time ...

  Bottom Line Up Front As 2019 begins, the U.S. and its allies will continue to deal with crises that started years ago and have now matured into critical threats. The U.S. faces numerous crises that warrant a multilateral response in a time when Washington is increasingly responding unilaterally. Among ...

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords last month was widely denounced as a blow to global climate change cooperation. However, it has also been used by some observers to mark a turning point in President Trump’s vision of American global leadership. The Cipher Brief’s ...

When President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement this June, it confirmed the administration’s intent to pull back on international efforts to combat global climate change. The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge spoke with the Director of Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience at the Wilson Center, Roger-Mark ...

President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement this June was met with immediate outcry from both domestic opponents of the president and international partners. Business leaders like Elon Musk of SpaceX and Bob Iger of Disney quit White House advisory councils in protest, ...

The U.S. withdrawal from the COP21 Paris Agreement has given new life to the debate around the consequences of climate change. The Trump Administration has cited concerns over national sovereignty and the economic burdens of reducing emissions to justify its policy. While this rationale remains controversial, it surely represents a ...

"We're getting out," announced President Donald Trump on Thursday, as he explained why the United States was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. Signatories to the 2015 landmark agreement pledged to flight climate change by reducing greenhouse gases and help poorer countries do the same. But Trump said the U.S. ...

“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” President Donald Trump announced Thursday afternoon, keeping a promise he made on the campaign trail. The U.S. will renegotiate the deal or work on creating an entirely new deal on “terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, ...

The current Administration’s top leadership on defense, diplomacy and intelligence – the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and Director of National Intelligence – all agree that climate change is happening and presents risks to the United States that must be addressed. For example, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, in ...

Since at least the 1979 Iranian revolution, intelligence and national security analysts have been working hard to identify the causal factors that lead to political instability. Working hard and yet struggling. Many factors, such as high infant mortality, have been found to correlate with the onset of political instability, and ...

During the Cold War, the nuclear threat was a defining national security challenge. Now, climate change is “the great global challenge of our era,” says Sherri Goodman, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense. Goodman tells The Cipher Brief that “climate change has emerged as the most serious challenge,” in which military ...

This July was the hottest month on record, that is, since the late 1800s (when recording keeping began), according to NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), and Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). It is likely 2016 will be the hottest year on ...

Instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is at its worst in recent memory. While political volatility has been something of a constant in the region for much of the past century, threats to regional security – and to the nation-state system itself (for example, powerful terrorist groups ...

Data from NASA shows this July is the hottest on record. Gavin Schmidt – Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which is responsible for temperature measures – tells The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder that this is part of a long-term warming trend, and the implications for U.S. national ...

At least 97 people were killed and hundreds more injured across the Oromia and Amhara regions of Ethiopia over the weekend, when Ethiopian security forces fired at peaceful protestors, reports Amnesty International. Both protest movements stem from land issues and economic, political, and ethnic tensions. Members of the Oromo – ...

As a landlocked country with three of its immediate neighbors ranked in the top four of the most Fragile States Index, it is in Ethiopia’s interest to be a force for stability in the Horn of Africa. To that end, Ethiopia partners with the United States against terrorist organization al-Shabaab ...

Ethiopia faced one of the worst droughts in decades this year due to unusually strong El Niño effects, linked to climate change. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with Ashebir Wondimu, a senior forest expert working in Ethiopia’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, about the national security implications ...

The historic international conference on climate change is wrapping up in Paris after two weeks of intense negotiations to reach agreement on a plan to stop global warming.  Nearly 200 nations are working on a verifiable agreement to reduce green house emissions to slow down the expected rise in temperatures ...

World political leaders have gathered in Paris this week to negotiate a new universal climate change agreement. There is a need for unified commitment from national governments to cut greenhouse emissions to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming and climate change. According to the Fifth Assessment Report by the ...

In 2014, 19.3 million people were forced to leave their houses and were displaced within their countries due mostly to floods and storms but also to earthquakes and volcano eruptions—almost twice as many as those newly displaced by violent conflicts. Evidence shows that climate change is leading to human mobility ...

Less than a month after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, leaders from 150 nations have convened in the French capital to discuss ways to reduce the effects of climate change on a global scale. The conference is the largest gathering ever of world leaders. The goal of the historic, ...

One of the critical adverse effects of climate change is the impact it will have on water in terms of both quantity and quality. Marcus King, a former negotiator for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, told The Cipher Brief, competition for water resources is likely to lead to ...

CIPHER SNAPSHOT: President Barack Obama recently visited the Arctic region to bring attention to the effects climate change is already having in Alaska. The president also addressed a State Department conference with members of the Artic Council, whose members include Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United ...

As the ice continues to melt at the top of the world, climate change is altering more than global weather patterns. The opening up of Arctic waters as summer sea ice continues a thirty-year retreat trend could cut a third off distances between North-West Europe and the Far East. With ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Dr. James Henderson of the Oxford Institute to get his thoughts on the energy potential of the Arctic.  The Cipher Brief: What are your thoughts on the energy potential of the Arctic?  James Henderson: The potential resource base of hydrocarbons in the Arctic is very ...