Impacts of Global Warming and Climate Change

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE RISK OF NUCLEAR WAR

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Nagasaki atomic bomb explosion, 1945

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE RISK OF NUCLEAR WAR

For some time experts, including the U.S. military, have been warning Congress that climate change has serious national security implications, including increased risk of armed conflict.[1] Now a December 2016 article from the Princeton University Project on Science and Global Security[2] specifically calls attention to risks of nuclear war.

One of the most dangerous possible nuclear flash points is in South Asia, where nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought three wars and numerous smaller armed conflicts, often over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Now the danger is being heightened by increasing tensions over water rights. Both countries depend heavily on the Indus River system, originating in the snow and glacier meltwater of the Himalayas, and tensions have been rising over such actions as India’s construction of dams on the Indus. One Pakistani newspaper recently warned that “a war is possible over the issue of water, and this time the war will be nuclear.”

The danger extends far beyond the Indian subcontinent, Scientific studies show that a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan could cause disastrous climate change and disruption of world agriculture, putting two billion people at risk of famine.[3]

Guy Quinlan

January, 2017

Glossary

Citation

Quinlan, G. (2017). CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE RISK OF NUCLEAR WAR. Retrieved from http://climate.uu-uno.org/view/article/5874f49a0cf2204d222d8892