Theme of the AMS 102nd Annual Meeting

Theme of the AMS 102nd Annual Meeting

Environmental Security: weather, water and climate for a more secure world


Motivation for theme on Environmental Security

We are seeing a growing influence of weather, water, and climate on the security of nations and their peoples due to a rapidly increasing global population (including a growing percentage that are migrating to coastal areas and/or away from areas of crises) coupled with evolving human and national security impacts from the disruption of weather and climate norms. 

The theme of Environmental Security will inform AMS members and meeting attendees on the connections between our scientific field and larger societal impacts, and it will demonstrate how important our contributions are to the basic security needs of the United States and the world, particularly for vulnerable groups. 

The 102nd Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to bring together world-class experts on extreme weather and climate with researchers in the fields of water quality/scarcity, energy, food, and health/diseases. This two-way exchange of expertise will inspire new insights into the linkages and impacts among these diverse scientific disciplines and illustrate how water, weather, and climate research can help shape policy to benefit all areas of environmental security.

What is the definition of Environmental Security?

While one can find similar definitions of Environmental Security that are slanted toward a particular perspective, for our AMS theme we will define it as “the security impacts of weather, water, and climate directly on people (i.e., human security) and on overall societies (i.e., national security).”

Meeting organization around Environmental Security pillars

Considering our definition of Environmental Security and the most relevant intersections with Earth system science, we will organize the Annual Meeting theme around five environmental security pillars, which often have several linkages and dependencies on one another:

  • Extreme weather: national and human security impacts of extreme weather and climatic events.
  • Energy security: environmental and security issues associated with ensuring uninterrupted availability of energy sources that are affordable, reliable, and accessible.
  • Food security: environmental and security issues associated with the need for consistent physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets people’s dietary needs.
  • Health security: environmental and security issues associated with minimizing “the danger and impact of acute public health events that endanger the collective health of populations living across geographical regions and international boundaries.” (WHO, n.d.: Health security. Accessed Apr. 7, 2020 from
  • Water security: environmental and security issues associated with a population’s capacity to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable-quality water for sustenance of livelihoods, well-being, and socioeconomic development, and for protecting against threats from waterborne pollution and water-related disasters.