Climate Change and International Security


Summer Academy, University of Hamburg, ZNF

Lectured: Prof.Dr.Hartmut Grassl (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology,Hamburg, Germany)

and concluded by Sandro Wellyanto Lubis (Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia)

Germany, August 2009

“Hallo, I’m Sandro Wellyanto Lubis, undergraduate student of Applied Meteorology Bogor Agricultural University, Research Division of Indonesian Climate Student Forum or ISCF 2009. Ultimately, I was selected to be an Indonesian Student Delegate to participate summer academy “Young Scientist Cooperate for Peace” or ScooP 2009 in Hamburg, Germany. ScooP is the summer academy programme which is supported by DAAD and this year had been hold from the 2nd till 15th of August 2009 in Hamburg. Young scientists from all over Europe and Non-Europe are invited to participate at the academic programme and get involved in the complex field of scientific peace research. Lectures consist of Disarmament Arms Control and Verification of Nuclear, Biological Weapons , Chemical Weapons and Consequences of Climate Change. Together with the colleagues we discuss and analyse the complexity of peace research. Through this summer school,I have also got experiences in the working field of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), peace institutes and politicans and shared the informations and knowledeges from different scientific backgrounds. At this time I would like to share the Climate Change section from the lectures and discussions that has been already done for the summer school programme. I will try to explain clearly and simply, and conclude them”.

Climate change is a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is, in addition to natural climate variability, observed over comperable time periods (Hardy 2003). Climate change significantly impacts on ecology and human dimensions. For example in marine environment. It affects sea level, ocean-atmospheric interactions, ocean heat transport, ocean currents and circulation, bio-geochemical  cycles, and marine ecosystem. Changes in this processes, through complicated feedback, will significantly add to climate-change impacts. Climate change also alter human dimensions. Global warming directly effects pattern of human settlement, energy use, transportation, industry, environmental quality, and other aspects of infrastructure that affect our quality of life (IPCC 1990). In addition climate change can directly affect human health because high temperatures place an added stress on human physiology. Study of climate change impact is nessecery for reducing the consequences and key to make arrangements for the mitigation.

Observation on climate change is needed to prove, that the climate has been changing or it is just as issues. Scientists has been developing many scenario in models by using super computer to verify the climate change and mitigation plannings. The GCM and other models has been the main focuss in the scientifict modelling world to project the climate change patterns and get the problem solvings on it. IPCC has developed the climate change scenarios that are able to project the changing of the future global temperature avarage in the world.


Picture 1.Observed changes relative to corresponding averages for the period 1961 – 1990

The picture above, inform us from the IPCC 4 WG1 2007 model projection that has been occuring the changing of temperature, global average sea lavel and northern snow cover in the world. The climate change has been indicated of increasing the global temperature rapidly year by year, high temperature that’s also effected on increasing sea level rise every year and decreasing from the total of snow covers in northern hemisphere. So that’s why the climate change policies are needed to implement. Without a stringent globally coordinated climate policy in the coming few decades, all present coastal megacities will disappear in the coming centuries for example. Further reasons for concern are (Prof.Dr.Hartmut Grassl):

  1. Anthropogenic climate change is by a factor of at least 50 faster than natural climate change, if no stringent climate protection policy is started now.
  2. Adaptation to climate change is much easier for the main emitters than for those suffering more strongly from climate change.
  3. Accepting the 1990 reference date for emissions is injust to the developing countries, because emissions up to this date do not count.
  4. Biodiversity is massively endangered by climate change.


Picture 2. Multi-model averages and assessed ranges for surface warming

Projections of future global average surface temperature for various IPCC scenarios. The graph shows temperature changes (as compared with the 1980-1999 average, which is used as the baseline) for three scenarios (A2, A1B, and B1). Solid colored lines represent “most likely” trends; shaded regions represent “probable ranges”. The gray bars on the right represent year 2100 temperatures for all six scenarios; the colored stripe represents the “best estimate”, while the shaded gray region represents “likely ranges”. The different scenarios and models predict temperature changes between one and slightly more than six degrees Celsius. (Source: taken from (IPCC 2007a).

Climate change scenario from IPCC 2001a describe that The A1 storyline and scenario family describes a future world of very rapid economic growth, global population that peaks in mid-century and declines thereafter, and the rapid introduction of new and more efficient technologies. The three sub groups of A1 are fossil intensive (A1FI), non-fossil energy sources (A1T), and a balance across all sources (A1B). A2. The A2 storyline and scenario family describes a world of regional self-reliance and preservation of local identities. Fertility patterns across regions converge very slowly, which results in continuously increasing population. Economic development is primarily regionally oriented and per capita economic growth and technological change more fragmented and slower than other storylines. B1. The B1 storyline and scenario family describes a convergent world with the same global population as in the A1 storyline, but with emphasis on global solutions to economic, social and environmental sustainability, including improved equity, the introduction of clean and resource efficient technologies, but without additional climate initiatives. B2. The B2 storyline and scenario family describes a world with emphasis on local solutions to economic, social and environmental sustainability. The global population rate increases more slowly than A2. Compared with A1 and B1, economic development is intermediate and less rapid, and technological change is more diverse. The scenario is also oriented towards environmental protection and focuses on local and regional levels. (adapted from IPCC 2001).


Picture3 . IPCC Scenario

IPCC SCenarios

Picture4: The various trend of IPCC Scenarios for Climate Change Projection.

The Global climate on 21st  century will depend on naatural changes and the response of climate system and human activities.  The Main Solutions according to Dr. Christian Müller are :

  1. Increase energy efficiency
  2. Increase fraction of renewables
  3. Cleaner fossil fuels (e.g. CCS, is a carbon capture storage system by geological storage, storages option are oil/ gas reservation,saline aquifers, or coal seams)

CSSPicture 5. Global Carbon Capture Storage System (IPCC)

Why is climate change a threat to international security? According to prof. Grassl it relevans on conflict constellations:

1.Climate-induced degradation of freshwater resources

2.Climate-induced decline in food production

3.Climate-induced increase in storm and flood disasters

4.Conflict constellation “Environmentally-induced migration“

flood and dry season


Can the security risk caused by climate change be avoided?Actions needed for a reduced risk (Proposal by WBGU)

• Fostering a co-operative setting for a multipolar world

– Shaping global political change

– Reforming the United Nations

• Climate policy as security policy: Avoiding dangerous  interference with the climate system

– Ambitiously pursuing international climate policy

– Implementing the energy turnaround in the EU

– Developing mitigation strategies through partnerships

• Climate policy as security policy: Implementing adaptation strategies

– Supporting adaptation strategies for developing countries

– Stabilizing fragile states and weak states that are additionally threatened by climate change

– Managing migration through co-operation and development of international law

– Expanding global information and early warning systems

• If climate protection fails: Strategies in the event of destabilization and conflict

By Sandro Lubis (, ICSF 2009

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