Nuclear winter

Interest in nuclear winter has also waned from a peak reached between 1983 and 1985. Intensive investigation of the issue from 1983 on produced increasing evidence that the climatic impact of nuclear war had been overestimated in the original study. The downgrading of the estimates in the scientific and academic community was inevitably accompanied by a general decline in the level of public interest in the topic, and despite a new examination of the theory by the original investigators (Turco et al. 1990)—which tends to reaffirm the basic findings of the original work—there has been no revival of interest.

As a result of recent political developments, nuclear conflict does seem less likely, and the issue of nuclear winter is regarded as irrelevant by some. Certainly, large scale nuclear war between the NATO and Warsaw Pact powers is no longer a consideration. The events which reduced the likelihood of superpower nuclear conflict did nothing to reduce local and regional tensions, however, and in some cases may even have exacerbated them. With the dissolution of the USSR into a number of separate states, for example, central control over nuclear devices has been lost, and the possibility of these weapons being used in local conflicts cannot be ruled out. However, in early 1994, Ukraine agreed to the complete destruction or removal of all the nuclear weapons it had inherited from the former USSR. In the Middle East, Israel may already have a nuclear capability, while other nations in the region may be working towards that end. Both India and Pakistan also have nuclear ambitions. Elsewhere in Asia, North Korea has shown a distinct reluctance to abstain from further development of nuclear weapons. The availability of nuclear weapon scientists, thrown out of work by the new political reality, which has reduced the military requirements of the superpowers, is also a concern. Their ability to aid smaller nations—particularly in politically unstable parts of the world—to acquire or build nuclear devices could lead to the proliferation of such weapons. Although conflicts in these regions would not match the size or severity of nuclear exchange upon which the original nuclear winter hypothesis was based, they would certainly have significant local and regional environmental impacts, which in some cases could have global consequences.

The Basic Survival Guide

The Basic Survival Guide

Disasters: Why No ones Really 100 Safe. This is common knowledgethat disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.

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