“From the tactical side our bases and stations on the coast are going underwater.” – Ret. Marine Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney
According to the latest warning from the US Military, the world’s largest naval base is (and has been) under severe threat of a rapidly rising Atlantic Ocean. The Norfolk /Hampton Roads Naval Yards is now closed multiple time a year due to severe flooding in the area. The tidal gauge that NOAA has operated at Sewell’s Point, VA since 1927 shows 15 inches of increase. the rate is accelerating. Another 4 to 7 inches of sea level rise is expected by 2030.
Hampton Roads is the only place in the world the Navy builds aircraft carriers.
The Navy is taking the situation seriously enough that serious discussion of moving multiple coastal bases is underway. On a global scale, a 2016 Navy Times article reported that 128 military bases are at risk from sea level rise.
According to Brig. Gen. Cheney’ testimony before Congress in July, “Climate change is already affecting security both at home and around the world, so we must make sure that we take the greenhouse gas emissions from energy into account, lest we trade increased energy security today for a warmer, more unstable world in the future.”
Of course, the way forward is somewhat unclear due to the fact that the Trump Administration is opposed to global warming.
Sea level rise and coastal flooding represent a well-documented threat to national security. After General Cheney’s testimony, the Trump administration rolled back a regulation that would have provided assistance “improve the resilience of communities and federal assets against the impacts of flooding.”