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Higher Temperatures from Climate Change Can Deteriorate Stored Ammunition and Explosives

Munitions exposed to heat

Munitions exposed to extreme heat can become unstable, leading to unplanned explosions at munitions sites, or UEMS. Credit: Getty Images

By Marc Kodack

Climate change will affect bulk commodities, e.g., ammunition, that the U.S. Amy relies on in combat operations. As temperatures increase in arid areas of the world, such as the Middle East (which is critically important to U.S. national security), the storage of ammunition and explosives (AE) under extreme temperatures can lead to instability and possible unplanned detonations. A recent article in Scientific American explores the storage of ammunition whereby “intense heat can weaken munition’s structural integrity, cause the thermal expansion of explosive chemicals and damage protective shields.” (more…)