The Department of Defense (DOD) environmental research programs have a specific goal of addressing global climate change impacts that directly address DoD assets and its natural security mission. DoD continues a history of participation in the USGCRP
through sponsored research that concurrently satisfies both the national
security goals of the USGCRP. All data and scientific results are obtained using DOD research funds are routinely made available to the civil science
community. DOD science and technology investments are coordinated and
reviewed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the individual research agencies - the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Research explicitly directed toward these issues is funded out of the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and the Army Corps of Engineers research activities. Together they have the responsibility to jointly develop the DOD Basic Research Plan (BRP), which undergoes a biennial program review by a panel of experts from universities, industry, and nonprofit research institutions (Defense Basic Research Review).
As the performance of DOD systems, platforms, and operations may be influenced by natural environmental conditions, understanding the variability in the Earth's environment is of interest to many DOD science programs. Much of the research performed under the ONR's Operational Environments focus area and the ARO's Environmental Sciences Division, for example, lead to fundamental understanding of physical processes that are of particular relevance to the USGCRP.
In May 2009, the Navy formed a Task Force on Climate Change to advise the Chief of Naval Operations on the impact of climate change on future Navy and Marine Corps operations. The objectives are to provide a central clearing point for climate change information and to assess potential impacts. Most importantly, the Task Force is to provide information about critical time lines relative to allocation of resources required to adapt to the future. The role of the task force is to address the impacts of climate change but this may ultimately result in additional research relative to mitigation and adaptation. The budgetary impact, however, is most likely to be in FY 2011 or alter.