NATO in the Anthropocene: Emergence of the Tipping Points and Associated Security Challenges

The Anthropocene defines Earth’s current geologic era in which human activities have been the dominant factor in influencing the Earth system processes such as climate and the environment. This paper will briefly introduce the Anthropocene, and its main characteristics emphasizing important role humankind represents in this geological era. Then, the paper will provide a general definition, classify per estimated threshold temperature, and explain the phenomenon of self-reinforcing feedbacks of Earth system tipping points. In the third section, the paper will outline a brief risk analysis of impacts originating from the emergence of selected tipping points. For example, what will be security risks of continuous melting of the Alpine glaciers in the near future on individual NATO member states? Furthermore, how will sea-level rise caused by the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic summer sea-ice impact coastal cities in NATO member states and Alliance’s vital military infrastructure? The last section will examine the Alliance’s ability to addressing emerging and non-traditional security challenges, the focus being on the threat multiplier effect of climate change. 

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Keywords: NATO, Anthropocene, tipping points, threat multiplier, nontraditional security challenges

Citation: Causevic, A. 2019 CMDR COE Conference Proceedings 2019 147-173

NATO in the Anthropocene: Emergence of the Tipping Points and Associated Security Challenges

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