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The Human and Climatic Effects of an India-Pakistan Nuclear Conflict

Indian Agni-II intermediate range ballistic missile

An Indian Agni-II intermediate range ballistic missile on a road-mobile launcher, displayed at the Republic Day Parade, New Delhi’s Rajpath, January 26, 2004. Antônio Milena (ABr)

By Christine Parthemore

On October 2, a team of researchers published the results of extensive work to model the effects of nuclear war between Pakistan and India. The scenario, posited for the year 2025, examined features a high-casualty terrorist attack on Indian government officials resulting in widespread conflict between these countries. 

In “Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe,” published in Science Advances, the authors chose a scenario in which India and Pakistan successfully use 300 strategic nuclear weapons against one another’s urban targets. Their chosen scenario entails further conflict, but with some weapons failing to detonate and some being targeted at remote military sites for which damage was not included. (more…)

BRIEFER: Nuclear, climate, and security issues in Nigeria

CSR Briefer Three CoverBy Andrea Rezzonico and Christine Parthemore

 

As Africa’s largest economy with a monumentally large and young population, Nigeria is a critical country whose future is often seen as a key factor in regional stability. It is also experiencing a wide range of pressures, including terrorist threats, water stress, high energy demands, and one of the world’s highest rates of urbanization, among others. Like many countries, Nigeria’s story is that of a fragile nation—facing many challenges but holding strong potential—seeking nuclear energy to help meet its mounting energy needs.

 

The Council of Strategic Risks, the parent organization of the Center for Climate and Security, explores this landscape in its latest briefer, “Converging Risks in Nigeria: Nuclear Energy Plans, Climate Fragility, and Security Trends.” (more…)

Release: New Report on Converging Nuclear Energy, Climate and Security Risks in Egypt

CSR Working Group on Climate Nuclear Security Affairs_Egypt Report_2019_6_11Washington, DC, June 12, 2019 – Today the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR), the parent organization of the Center for Climate and Security, released a new report titled “Nuclear Energy Developments, Climate Change, and Security in Egypt,” through its Converging Risks Lab program. The report explores the ways in which nuclear, climate and security trends are converging in this critical country – an under-explored yet potentially very consequential security issue.

This report comes on the heels of U.S. policy-makers in Congress recognizing the importance of understanding the intersection of nuclear and climate trends. Last week, the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Strategic Forces approved language to the FY20 National Defense Authorization Bill stating that the Department of Defense “must plan to ensure the viability of the nuclear enterprise” at least throughout the planned nuclear modernization program. As such, it requires “the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, to provide a report to the House Committee on Armed Services not later than March 31, 2020, assessing the effects of climate change on the U.S. nuclear enterprise, to include bases, ports, laboratories, plants, sites, and testing facilities, through 2080.” (more…)

The South China Sea: A Potential Climate, Nuclear, Security Hotspot

USS_John_S_McCain_South_China_Sea_2017

The USS John S. McCain conducts a routine patrol in the South China Sea, Jan. 22, 2017.

Earlier this year, The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) convened its multidisciplinary Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs to further investigate the intersections of these trends.  In the forthcoming weeks, CSR will publish a series of posts expanding on workshop discussions.  

The South China Sea: A Potential Climate, Nuclear, Security Hotspot
By Andrea Rezzonico

The Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs, a project of CSR’s Converging Risks Lab, examines the nexus of existential threats stemming from climate change and nuclear risks—overlaid on the stress of ongoing security challenges such as terrorism and state fragility.

The South China Sea region faces a range of disruptive climate and security challenges, as several countries explore nuclear energy. The region is also influenced in various ways by most nuclear weapons-possessing countries, including the United States, China, India, Pakistan, and Russia. Ongoing territorial disputes, incidents of maritime confrontation and other current events underscore the area’s tenuous state of affairs. The Working Group accordingly considers this region a priority for investigation.

For the rest of the article, visit the Council on Strategic Risks’ website here.

Emerging Risks: Melting Ice Reveals an Old Nuclear Waste Site

PM2Anuclearpowerplant

Climate change impacts security in myriad ways and on multiple scales, from local infrastructure to international geopolitics. At the Center for Climate and Security, that has been reflected in a range of analysis covering these multiple types and levels of security risk, including a report on sea level rise and its impact on U.S. military infrastructure, and another on the connections between climate change and the Arab Spring. However, new risks are emerging seemingly every day, and some of them remain under-explored. Most recently, we conducted a pioneering look at the intersection of climate, security and nuclear affairs (including nuclear security and proliferation), bringing together experts from both fields to produce a roadmap for how these risks might be understood and managed together, rather than separately. In this context, a new journal article from Jeff Colgan explores new risks that are literally emerging from the ice, as Arctic melting reveals nuclear waste at an (abandoned) military site in Greenland. See his writeup – a cross-post from the New Security Beat – below. (more…)

Eye on Iran: Lake Urmia, Water, Climate and Security in a Volatile Region

This blog also appeared on the humanitarian news site, AlertNet

The strategic position of Iran, straddling the energy-thruway that is the Strait of Hormuz, bordering, among other nations, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and sitting a mere 1,000 miles northeast of an anxious Israel, is unquestionably important. However, while the recent focus has been on whether or not Iran has the capability and the will to turn its domestic nuclear energy program into a nuclear weapons program, another human and economic disaster looms relatively unnoticed: the drying up of Lake Urmia in the country’s northwest – the largest lake in the Middle East. Given the current volatile political landscape surrounding Iran, this is worth a closer look. (more…)