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Climatic and humanitarian impacts of nuclear war

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017, 4:00

Wednesday, September 13, 2017. 4:00PM. Climatic and humanitarian impacts of nuclear war. Alan Robock, Rutgers University. Sponsored by Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University. More information here.

Abstract: A nuclear war between any two nations, such as India and Pakistan, with each country using 50 Hiroshima-sized atom bombs as airbursts on urban areas, would inject so much smoke from the resulting fires into the stratosphere that the resulting climate change would be unprecedented in recorded human history. The environmental and humanitarian impacts of the use of even a small number of nuclear weapons must be considered in nuclear policy deliberations. As a result of international negotiations in the past several years, on July 7, 2017 the United Nations ratified an international treaty banning nuclear weapons, supported by more than 130 countries, but not the nine that currently have nuclear weapons. I will describe our new research project that will examine in detail a number of credible nuclear war scenarios, the emissions from the fires that would be generated, the climatic impacts, the impacts on agriculture, and the impacts on world food trade and availability. We hope that these new results will be useful in informing policymakers about the dangers of any use of nuclear weapons.

About the speaker: Dr. Alan Robock is a Distinguished Professor of climate science in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. Prof. Robock has published more than 390 articles on his research in the area of climate change, including more than 235 peer-reviewed papers. His areas of expertise include geoengineering, climatic effects of nuclear war, effects of volcanic eruptions on climate, and soil moisture. He serves as Editor of Reviews of Geophysics, the most highly-cited journal in the Earth Sciences. Prof. Robock was a Lead Author of the 2013 Working Group 1 Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007).


Location  Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, Room 101, 61 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.