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Russia’s Antiquated Nuclear Warning System Jeopardizes Us All

As the war in Ukraine’s pits Russia against the West, it’s time to look at Moscow’s weak satellite systems, which raise the chances of nuclear conflict. by David K. Shipler

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a heightened nuclear alert level, much of the world has worried that he might go nuclear in his war against Ukraine. But there is another concern: a false alarm from Russian early-warning systems, which experts believe are dangerously vulnerable to errors.

The risk of a catastrophic mistake has been a threat since the outset of the nuclear age, but miscalculation becomes more likely in a period of heightened Russian-American tension. Leaders would have only minutes to make fateful decisions, so each side needs to be able to “see” clearly whether the other has launched missiles before retaliating. Ambiguity in a moment of “crisis perception,” the Rand Corporation has noted, can spark “conflict when one nation misinterprets an event (such as a training exercise, a weather phenomenon, or a malfunction) as an indicator of a nuclear attack.”     

Russia and the United States are the most heavily armed of the nine nuclear powers, which include China, France, the United Kingdom, North Korea, Pakistan, India, and Israel. (Iran is poised to join the club.) But only the U.S. has comprehensive surveillance of the globe, provided by three active geosynchronous satellites, with two in reserve, whose infrared receptors can spot missile plumes. That data is supplemented by radar, which gives the U.S. the capacity to double-check that a launch has actually occurred.

Specialists call this verification by both satellite and radar “dual phenomenology.” The Russians don’t have it, at least not reliably. They lack adequate space-based monitoring to supplement their radar.

What they have is a “terrible and dangerous technology shortfall,” according to Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT and a former scientific adviser to the chief of naval operations………………………


April 30, 2022 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

U.S. sees no threat of Russia using nuclear weapons despite rhetoric- official

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) – The United States does not believe that there is a threat of Russia using nuclear weapons despite a recent escalation in Moscow’s rhetoric, a senior U.S. defense official said on Friday.,,,,,

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart Editing by Frances Kerry   We continue to monitor their nuclear capabilities every day the best we can and we do not assess that there is a threat of the use of nuclear weapons and no threat to NATO territory,” the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told reporters.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the West should not underestimate the elevated risks of nuclear conflict over Ukraine. read more

Russia said earlier this month that it plans to deploy its newly tested Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of mounting nuclear strikes against the United States, ……………….

April 30, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Pakistan, India reel under intense heat wave

Market Screener, By Jibran Ahmad and Sumit Khanna, 29 Apr 22,

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/AHMEDABAD,India (Reuters) -Pakistan issued a heat warning after the hottest March in 61 years while in parts of neighbouring India schools were shut and streets deserted as an intense heave wave on Friday showed no signs of abating.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, urged the federal and provincial governments to take precautionary measures to manage the intense heat wave, which touched highs of 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 Fahrenheit) in parts of the country.

“South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan are faced with what has been a record-breaking heatwave. It started in early April and continues to leave the people gasping in whatever shade they find,” Rehman said in a statement.

Temperatures were predicted to rise by 6 to 8 degrees Celsius above average temperatures after the hottest March on record since 1961, she said.

More than a billion people are at risk of heat-related impacts in the region, scientists have warned, linking the early onset of an intense summer to climate change. For the first time in decades, Pakistan had gone from winter to summer without the spring season, Rehman said.

The government has also told provincial disaster management authorities to prepare urgently for the risk of flash-flooding in northern mountainous provinces due to rapid glacial melting, Rehman said.

Glaciers in the Himalaya, Hindu Kush and Karkoram mountain ranges have melted rapidly, creating thousand of glacial lakes in northern Pakistan, around 30 of which were at risk of sudden hazardous flooding, the climate change ministry said, adding around 7 million people were vulnerable.

A senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department said on Friday heat conditions would persist for at least the next three days, but that temperatures would fall after the arrival of monsoons, expected in some parts by May.

The health problems triggered by the heatwave were posing a bigger worry than the expected fourth wave of COVID-19, doctors in India said.

“We are getting many patients who have suffered heatstroke or other heat-related problems,” said Mona Desai, former president of Ahmedabad Medical Association in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

She said that 60-70% of the patients were school-aged complaining of vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal colic, weakness and other symptoms.

Roads were deserted in Bhubaneshwar, in India’s eastern state of Odisha, where schools have been shut, while neighbouring West Bengal advanced the school summer break by a few days.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | climate change, India, Pakistan | Leave a comment

Delhi sweltering under extreme heat, electricity shortage

India is facing the worst electricity shortage in more than six years as
Delhi saw its hottest April in 12 years on Thursday at a maximum of 43.5C.
The temperatures in the national capital are predicted to linger around 44C
with peak summer heat still to come before the cool monsoon rains in June.

The extreme heat parching across large swathes of south Asia this week has
also prompted health officials in the western state of Gujarat to take
measures, as they braced for a potential spike in patients. Meanwhile, the
leap in power demand has left India scrambling for coal, with inventories
running lowest pre-summer levels in at least nine years. Several states
including Rajasthan and Haryana in the north and Andhra Pradesh in the
south observed the worst power cuts in over six years as the government
struggled to manage surging power demands.

Independent 29th April 2022

April 30, 2022 Posted by | climate change, India | Leave a comment

Climate change ‘already’ raising risk of virus spread between mammals

 Mammals forced to move to cooler climes amid global warming are
“already” spreading their viruses further – with “undoubtable”
impacts for human health, a new study says. The research, published in
Nature, uses modelling to map how climate change could shift the geographic
ranges of 3,100 mammals species and the viruses they carry by 2070.

It finds that climate change is increasingly driving new encounters between
mammal species, raising the risk of novel disease spread. The world’s
“biodiversity hotspots” and densely populated parts of Asia and Africa
are most likely to be affected. The findings suggest that climate change
could “easily become the dominant [human] driver” of cross-species
virus transmission by 2070, the authors say.

 Carbon Brief 28th April 2022

April 30, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, health | Leave a comment

Australia, US and China slammed for ignoring “real” climate threat in Pacific — RenewEconomy

Former Pacific Island leaders tell Australia, China and US that the biggest security threat in the Pacific is from climate change. The post Australia, US and China slammed for ignoring “real” climate threat in Pacific appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia, US and China slammed for ignoring “real” climate threat in Pacific — RenewEconomy

April 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April 29 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Should People Get Rid Of Their Garden Lawns?” • Many of us create or maintain lawns in our gardens without giving it a second thought. But could these innocent patches of greenery be a colossal waste of space? They are relatively easy and cheap to maintain, but there are many more environmentally friendly […]

April 29 Energy News — geoharvey

April 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment