The draft National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020, currently in conference, includes three Arctic-specific provisions that show a continuing increase in congressional attention to the Arctic over the past five years.
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For decades, China was reluctant to deem climate change a national security issue, preferring instead to view it through the lens of development. The driving concern behind China’s reticence was sovereignty; Beijing feared that crisis rhetoric about climate change would be used to legitimate interventionist actions on the part of Western powers, including forcing Beijing to curtail its economic growth.
Scientific and public understanding of climate change has evolved considerably since the late 1980s, when evidence of a changing climate first rose to public prominence. Since then, scientists have observed strong evidence of warming itself and have been able to attribute it with confidence to human activities.