As the weather heats up, conflicts between nations may heat up as well, at a time when less ice covers the than at any time in recent geologic history. It turns out that, despite past government denials about climate change, the military has been studying this threat for a long time.

As the growth of scientific evidence regarding global warming continues, so too has military concern increased about the national security repercussions stemming from climate change. Military strategist Dan Stillman points out that climate change has been a serious concern for military leaders long before reports and headlines focused on the topic over the past few years. He says, “Historically, the Department of Defense has worked closely with other federal agencies in both observing climate and understanding how it might change in the future.”

And not a moment too soon, either: Arctic ice is retreating fast, meaning that some countries will drown and others will lose their agricultural areas and major coastal cities. And for the first time in half a century, it has rained at the North Pole. Yahoo News quotes climatologist David Phillips as saying, “My business is weird, wild and wacky weather, and this is up there among fish falling from the sky or Niagara Falls running dry. For the end of April, it is really bizarre.”

And the discovery of an underwater ridge in West Antarctica could help explain why the glaciers are melting so rapidly in that area. In BBC News, Mark Kinver quotes Pierre Dutrieux, of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), as saying, “Acoustic instruments on [our] submarine told us that there was a ridge at the bottom of the ocean, sitting transverse to the flow of ice. Some decades ago, the glacier was sitting on this ridge and the friction of the ridge was restraining the flow of the glacier. When the glacier became detached from the ridge, the ice flow was able to accelerate significantly.”

Yahoo quotes researcher Pen Hadow as saying, “Scientists would tell us that we can expect increasingly to experience these sorts of outcomes as the climate warms.” And no matter what various countries say, the truth is that the major cause of war has always been a fight over land.

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