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Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is not the only one worried about climate change. US military officers have long believed climate change seriously threatens the country’s national security. They argue that it is stirring up chaos and conflict abroad, endangering coastal bases and stressing soldiers and equipment, which undermines military readiness.

Now, the US Army wants to study climate change and its impacts on military activity along coastal regions.

Coastal naval bases are going through changes as a result of climate change, so predicting how the terrain will allow the operation of certain types of vehicles and certain types of troop operations is critical. 

The Louisiana State University will build computer models that can predict how coastal erosion, frequent severe weather events, and rising seas affect terrain near military installations. The research will help protect Army bases from flooding and erosion. The work could also inform the construction of new technology, tailored for eroding wetlands.

The Army will pay LSU $9.3 million over four years for the study, according to wafb.com. 

Dr. Robert Twilley, an LSU oceanography and coastal sciences professor helping to coordinate research, says the data could help prepare troops for combat in coastal regions.

“They’re trying to use advanced technology to make sure the Army is prepared for new circumstances in the future,” he said. “They don’t have the models to predict that terrain now, to know how to build new technologies for military operations.”