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Climate change is causing the U.S. military to alter its plans in the Arctic as Russia takes advantage of a warming world to deploy radar and personnel in thawing regions, two generals told a Senate panel yesterday.

The assessment comes as the White House is recruiting researchers to raise uncertainty about climate science and the risk that rising temperatures pose to national security. The generals told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that climate change is already affecting the military.

In particular, the reduction of Arctic sea ice means the United States is competing in the North with nations like Russia and China for resources and strategic advantage, said Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the U.S. European Command. He said Russia is already moving weapons into the region and that U.S. forces have had to change their posture as a result.

“Russia, because that Northern Sea Route is the one that follows most closely to their borders, has ... reopened 10 of their airports there,” he said. “They now have radar systems up. They’ve begun to move, on periodic times, different weapons systems up there for control of the area. So, those are all things that I have to bring into my planning.”

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Category: Science