‘Cold War era tools help track climate change today’July 16th, 2012 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, July 16 (IANS) Tracking the impact of climate change today has been made possible by tools developed by nuclear scientists to detect radioactivity in the wake of testing of atomic bombs during the Cold War era, says a leading historian.
Their insights and research have contributed enormously to enhancing knowledge about both carbon dioxide, which warms the earth and aerosols, which cool it. Otherwise, scientists today would have been in the dark about atmospheric changes, says historian Paul Edwards from University of Michigan, US.
For instance, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation tracked the radioactive plume emanating from damaged Japanese nuclear reactors via a global network of monitoring stations designed to measure airborne radioactive particles, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists journal reports.
Facilities built during the Cold War (roughly late 1940s to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991), including US labs constructed to create weapons, now use their powerful supercomputers, expertise in modelling, and skills in managing large data sets to address the threat of catastrophic climate change, according to a Michigan statement.
“Today, the laboratories built to create the most fearsome arsenal in history are doing what they can to prevent another catastrophe - this one caused not by behemoth governments at war, but by billions of ordinary people living ordinary lives within an energy economy that we must now reinvent,” Edwards said.
- Nuclear radiation from Japanese power plant reaches Pakistan: PAEC - Apr 09, 2011
- Radioactive plume to reach Britain in two weeks, say experts - Mar 18, 2011
- Fukushima like accidents to recur - May 23, 2012
- Japan nuke crisis not as bad as Chernobyl, but worse than Three Mile Island: Experts - Apr 07, 2011
- Radioactive iodine detected in Tokyo tap water - Mar 19, 2011
- PM firm on n-energy, directs safety upgrades at n-facilities (Second Lead) - Jun 01, 2011
- Radiation from Japan nuclear disaster reaches Canada - Mar 29, 2011
- Jairam Ramesh assures safety measures for Jaitapur nuclear plant - Mar 15, 2011
- The dangerous implications of India's nuclear romance - Apr 01, 2012
- Workers enter Fukushima's no.1 reactor for the first time since the earthquake and tsunami - May 05, 2011
- On Chernobyl anniversary, experts confident about nuclear energy - Apr 26, 2011
- Blast rocks Japanese nuclear power plant, reactor container not damaged - Mar 12, 2011
- Apex court to hear plea against n-plants Monday - Nov 12, 2011
- Fukushima-contaminated tuna caught off San Diego coast - May 29, 2012
- Despite Fukushima, India optimistic about n-deal with Japan - Oct 29, 2011
Tags: aerosols, atmospheric changes, atomic bombs, behemoth, bulletin of the atomic scientists, carbon dioxide, catastrophic climate change, collapse of the soviet union, comprehensive test ban treaty, energy economy, global network, nuclear reactors, nuclear scientists, ordinary lives, ordinary people, paul edwards, radioactive particles, radioactivity, supercomputers, test ban treaty