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March 9, 2010

Media Contacts:

Paulette Campbell
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
(240) 228-6792 or (443) 778-6792

Connie Custer
703-824-2100
custerc@cna.org

Secretary of the Navy to Headline Climate, Energy Conference

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will be the keynote speaker at the Climate and Energy Imperatives for Future Naval Forces Symposium on March 23 and 24 at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s (APL) Kossiakoff Center in Laurel, Md.  APL and CNA are sponsoring the conference to explore ways in which changes in climate and energy availability are likely to impact the composition and employment of future U.S. naval forces.

According to Conference Organizer Dean Simmons, of APL’s National Security Analysis Department, there is increasing evidence that climate change is occurring more rapidly than scientists have expected. Average atmospheric and sea surface temperatures are rising; the polar ice caps are melting as are glaciers in the Arctic, Andes, and Himalayas; permafrost is thawing; sea levels are rising. At the same time, there is evidence that we’ve reached a peak in petroleum production, the growing cost of which will provide economic incentive to shift to alternative fuels.

“Regardless of the cause of these changes, their effects on the planet will be significant – coastal flooding, climate induced population migrations, increased frequency and severity of natural disasters, and conflicts over water or arable land,” says Simmons. “Our naval forces will invariably be asked to play important roles in mitigating these effects.”

The meeting will address the nature of impending changes in climate and energy and explore how the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard might best adapt to those changes. Among those scheduled to speak are Adm. (Ret.) Henry “Harry” Ulrich, III, former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Adm. (Ret.) Timothy Keating, former commander of both the U.S. Pacific Command and the U.S. Northern Command;  Rear Adm. David Titley, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and head of the Navy’s Task Force Climate Change; and Rear Adm.  Philip Cullom, director of Fleet Readiness and head of the Navy’s Task Force Energy. In addition, there will be senior representatives from the National Intelligence Council, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps, and from our allies in Norway and Australia.

“In the recent Quadrennial Defense Review, the Department of Defense acknowledged the strategic importance of climate and energy to our national security – a position clearly articulated by many members of the national security community and by the National Intelligence Council,” says Ronald Filadelfo, who directs CNA’s Energy and Environment Team. “This conference will explore climate and energy imperatives for U.S. naval forces, largely through the perspective of the combatant commanders.

“At the end of the day, we want symposium participants to understand how climate and energy supplies may change in future years and what this will mean for future naval operations,” Simmons says. “We also want them to see how our naval forces may need to adapt to accommodate these changes – by taking on a different mix of missions, some of which may be new, or by changing the way that those forces are organized or equipped.”

Press are invited to register for this opportunity by going online to http://www.jhuapl.edu/ClimateAndEnergy/. There is no fee for reporters. Indicate “press” under the “community you represent” category. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu