Paul Edwards from the University of Michigan recently made it public news that, according to his latest research in the field of climate change and nuclear weapons, the technologies developed and tested during the Cold War are in fact currently used to tackle present days' issues such as climate change.
Entitled “Entangled Histories: Climate Science and Nuclear Weapons Research”, his study can be read in its entirety in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
The main points Professor Paul Edwards makes in his article are follows.
First of all, past attempts to control nuclear power meant that scientists also had to come up with ways to keep a close eye on radioactivity and on how radioactive compounds moved about in our atmosphere, our oceans and our terrestrial ecosystems.
Therefore, several monitoring stations had to be designed and build, and these stations can now be used to track down and predict the paths taken by gas emissions released into the environment by most human activities.
Since climate change and global warming have everything to do with said gas emissions, it can indeed be argued that nuclear technologies now foster a better understanding of how industrial operations impact on the natural world.
Moreover, it seems that the people who used to be in the business of designing nuclear weapons were very much interested in how various chemical compounds interfere with the typical atmospheric dynamics.
This means that, but for their continuously looking into how average temperatures are increased and lowered under various circumstances, we would not know so much about shifting weather patterns. Alpha Galileo Foundation
quotes professor Paul Edwards, who supposedly concluded on his findings as follows: “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.”