Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate scientists to discuss the chilling consequences of nuclear war

13.12.2006
Beyond the immediate devastation of a large-scale nuclear war, a growing number of scientists are concerned about the aftermath of "nuclear winter," which could result in famine for billions of people across the globe.

On Monday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. PT, climate experts will discuss the long-term effects of atomic warfare at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.

While the threat of mutual annihilation by the superpowers has diminished, the risk of nuclear combat has increased, said AGU panelist Stephen Schneider, the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford University and senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.

"Now we have almost no likelihood of a large-scale nuclear war between Russia and the West, but a much higher probability of a limited number of weapons being used in the next 30 years by rogue states," he said.

Schneider will be the final speaker at the AGU session titled "Environmental Consequences of Regional Nuclear Conflicts" to be held in Room 3002 at Moscone Center West. The session comes on the heels of the Nov. 16 vote by the U.S. Senate to endorse a plan that reverses decades of U.S. anti-proliferation policy by allowing the government to ship civilian nuclear fuel and technology to India. Critics of the Senate plan argue that it would augment India’s nuclear arsenal and spark a regional arms race with Pakistan and China.

"Not only do we have a higher probability of the use of nuclear weapons, they are much more likely to be used in the tropics, not in the high latitudes," Schneider said. "It has changed from a big war in the North to smaller explosions in the political South."

Detonation of nuclear weapons in the tropics could have harsher effects than a war in the northern latitudes, Schneider explained, because heat from the sun could loft plumes of smoke higher into the atmosphere, where it could have a longer cooling effect on the Earth.

"The sun is much stronger in the tropics than it is in mid-latitudes," he said. "Therefore, a much more limited war [there] could have a much larger effect, because you are putting the smoke in the worse possible place.

"The whole nature of the potential conflict has changed," he added. "Anything that you can do to discourage people from thinking that there is any way to win anything with a nuclear exchange is a good idea. You still have to be mega-insane to think there is any political objective for which a nuclear explosion is going to do you any good."

Mark Shwartz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stanford.edu
http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm06/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core
24.05.2018 | University of Washington

nachricht Tropical Peat Swamps: Restoration of Endangered Carbon Reservoirs
24.05.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>