Australian news, and some related international items

New research on how nuclear war would affect Earth today – it won’t matter who is bombing whom

Kelly Kizer Whitt, 18 Sept 22,

A nuclear war would devastate our oceans and our world, with some effects lasting thousands of years. That’s the conclusion of a new study led by Cheryl Harrison at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She said in a statement:

It doesn’t matter who is bombing whom. It can be India and Pakistan or NATO and Russia. Once the smoke is released into the upper atmosphere, it spreads globally and affects everyone.

These scientists’ simulations showed that it doesn’t matter whether the detonation of a nuclear arsenal came through a deliberate act of war, or through accident or hacking Their statement explained:

In all of the researchers’ simulated scenarios, nuclear firestorms would release soot and smoke into the upper atmosphere that would block out the sun, resulting in crop failure around the world. In the first month following nuclear detonation, average global temperatures would plunge by about 13 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees C), a larger temperature change than in the last Ice Age.

Ocean temperatures would drop quickly and would not return to their pre-war state even after the smoke clears. As the planet gets colder, sea ice expands by more than 6 million square miles and 6 feet deep in some basins blocking major ports including Beijing’s Port of Tianjin, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg. The sea ice would spread into normally ice-free coastal regions blocking shipping across the Northern Hemisphere making it difficult to get food and supplies into some cities such as Shanghai, where ships are not prepared to face sea ice.

The sudden drop in light and ocean temperatures, especially from the Arctic to the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, would kill the marine algae, which is the foundation of the marine food web, essentially creating a famine in the ocean. This would halt most fishing and aquaculture.

The scientists published their study in the peer-reviewed journal AGU Advances on July 7, 2022.

Where are the nuclear weapons?

Nine nations control more than 13,000 nuclear weapons on Earth, these scientists said. According to, the top three countries with nuclear weapons include Russia with 6,257, the United States with 5,550 and China with 350. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) aims to control the spread of nuclear weapons and reaches for disarmament.

In their study, the researchers simulated what would happen if the U.S. and Russia used 4,400 100-kiloton nuclear weapons. This would result in fires that would put more than 330 billion pounds of smoke and sunlight-absorbing black carbon into the upper atmosphere.

In another simulation, they imagined India and Pakistan detonating about 500 100-kiloton nuclear weapons. This would inject 11 to 103 billion pounds of smoke and soot into the upper atmosphere.

In all the simulations, the result was essentially the same.

The effect on marine life

With a blackened sky from the nuclear firestorm, oceans would receive less light and heat. This is especially true from the Arctic to the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Marine algae (seaweed), the base of the ocean’s food web, would die. Thus, a chain reaction would follow, creating a famine in the ocean. Fishing and aquaculture would mostly come to an end. So marine life suffers from both the initial blast and the resulting new ocean conditions.

Ocean waters would take longer to recover than on land. The changes to Arctic sea ice alone would probably last thousands of years, ushering in what the scientists called a Nuclear Little Ice Age.

Events other than nuclear war with similar results

Nuclear war isn’t the only event that could lead to these results of devastation in the ocean and on land. Massive wildfires and volcanic eruptions could eject enough soot into the atmosphere for similar results. Massive volcanic eruptions in the past have even caused multiple mass extinction events on Earth. Harrison said:

We can avoid nuclear war, but volcanic eruptions are definitely going to happen again. There’s nothing we can do about it, so it’s important when we’re talking about resilience and how to design our society, that we consider what we need to do to prepare for unavoidable climate shocks. We can and must, however, do everything we can to avoid nuclear war. The effects are too likely to be globally catastrophic.

September 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China, and others, see the International Atomic Energy Agency as biased in supporting AUKUS nuclear submarines plan

Ed note. My problem with the IAEA is that it is NOT an impartial body, on matters nuclear

China accuses IAEA of issuing a ‘lopsided’ report on AUKUS nuclear submarines plan, more By foreign affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic 15 Sept 22

China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has launched a furious attack on the UN nuclear watchdog over AUKUS, accusing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of issuing a “lopsided” report about Australia’s plan to build nuclear submarines while ignoring widespread concerns about its ramifications for non-proliferation.

Key points:

  • The IAEA issued a report to member states which said it was “satisfied with the level of engagement” from Australia, the UK and US
  • A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman slammed the report, saying China was “gravely concerned about the substance” of it
  • China has lobbied against AUKUS accusing the three countries of undermining the non-proliferation treaty

Last week the IAEA sent member states a confidential report on Australia’s move to develop the submarines drawing on nuclear submarine technology provided by the United States and the United Kingdom.

China has lobbied relentlessly against the deal in international forums, accusing the three countries of undermining the non-proliferation treaty and fuelling a regional arms race.

However Reuters reported last Friday that the IAEA issued a confidential report to member states which said it was “satisfied with the level of engagement” with the agency from all three nations so far.

Earlier this week the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi struck a similar tone while addressing the agency’s Board of Governors, saying the Secretariat had held four “technical meetings” with the three AUKUS members so far and suggesting it was comfortable with the way they were handling the matter.

But on Tuesday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning slammed the report, saying China was “gravely concerned about the substance.”

“This report lopsidedly cited the account given by the US, the UK and Australia to explain away what they have done, but made no mention of the international community’s major concerns over the risk of nuclear proliferation that may arise from the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation,” she said.

“The report turns a blind eye to many countries’ solemn position that the AUKUS cooperation violates the purpose and object of the NPT.”

IAEA report finds AUKUS non-proliferation risks ‘limited’

While China has repeatedly attacked Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom over the agreement, this is the first time it has publicly excoriated the IAEA over the matter.

US and Australian officials have privately accused Beijing of gross hypocrisy over its public attacks on AUKUS, pointing out that China has been rapidly developing its own fleet of nuclear powered submarines — including submarines capable of launching nuclear weapons.

But nuclear non-proliferation advocates have also raised serious concerns about AUKUS, suggesting that it will establish a dangerous precedent by allowing a non-nuclear state to acquire nuclear propulsion technology for the first time.

Indonesian diplomats have also repeatedly made it clear they’re uneasy about the plan, and the country’s foreign ministry recently claimed recently that it won widespread support at the United Nations nuclear non-proliferation review conference for its plan to monitor nuclear material in submarines more closely.

Reuters reported last week that the IAEA report acknowledged Australia’s argument that the non-proliferation risks posed by AUKUS were limited because it would only be provided with “complete, welded” nuclear power units which would make removing nuclear material “extremely difficult.”

It reportedly also said the material within the units could not be used in nuclear weapons without chemical processing which requires facilities which Australia does not have and will not seek..

September 18, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment