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  1. Science and Technology
  2. Research & Development
  3. Earth Systems Sciences

Earth Systems Sciences

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Earth Systems Sciences (ESS) is the transdisciplinary study of the structure and functioning of the Earth as an adaptive, integrated system and the interactions between environments and human and technological systems. It analyzes emerging risks and threat vectors to enable the prediction, adaptation, and mitigation of undesirable consequences.

Disasters from all hazards and climate change will continue to challenge the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) across a range of missions and frontline operations exacerbating known and unknown risks to public safety and national security. DHS will be affected in the short- and long-term with rising disaster costs and losses, worsening risks of environmental degradation, critical infrastructure and supply chain disruptions, civil unrest, and social instability. Adversarial threats from climate terrorism and extremism will continue to emerge as malign actors seek to exploit these risks for advantage and tensions mount with particular effects on the most vulnerable.

In response, DHS issued a strategic framework for addressing the climate crisis and incorporated climate change as a priority in its strategic and long-term planning. The Department also seeks to optimize climate risk management for safety and security and understands the key decisions, data, and information requirements for effective action.

The Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) research in ESS will strengthen the Department’s capability to make sound tactical and strategic decisions and inform key policy and investments decisions to enhance U.S. resilience to the impacts of climate change, ensure U.S. leadership in climate adaption, resilience, and sustainability innovation, and best positioned to address emerging security challenges and future risks.

S&T’s focus areas in ESS are:

  • Worldwide Developments in ESS and climate innovations - We continuously monitor worldwide developments in ESS—and climate technologies and innovations more broadly—to fully understand new opportunities for U.S. adversaries to misappropriate those developments for offensive use and to enable the United States to harvest them for strategic use.

  • Earth System Monitoring and Detection Capabilities - We support homeland resiliency by identifying, leveraging, and developing capabilities that can quickly detect and identify any potential first-, second-, and third-order effects of climate change and extreme weather risks.

  • Disaster Adaptation and Resilience Capabilities - We support homeland resiliency by identifying, leveraging, and developing capabilities for enhanced adaptation to and resilience from disaster.





Learn more about us and discover how your organization can partner with S&T to make the homeland more secure.


Last Updated: 03/15/2024
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