The Zanskar River, first major tributary of the Indus River, high in the Himalayas. Image courtesy of Ashish Verma/Pixabay.

Climate change and water scarcity will increase risk of nuclear catastrophe in South Asia

By Asha Asokan, Ira Helfand, July 11, 2022

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The Zanskar River, first major tributary of the Indus River, high in the Himalayas. Image courtesy of Ashish Verma/Pixabay.

In the last few years, tensions between the three nuclear-weapon states of India, China, and Pakistan have intensified, partly due to water and border issues (Johnson 2019). These tensions will only get worse due to two existential threats: the climate crisis, and the danger posed by nuclear weapons.

This is not a new situation; the water crisis and the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have ranked in the top five of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks by Impact list nearly every year since 2012.

References

Albinia, A. 2020. “A water crisis looms for 270 million people as South Asia’s glaciers shrink.” National Geographic. July. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/water-crisis-looms-for-270-million-people-south-asia-perpetual-planet-feature.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows, nuclear threats are real, present, and dangerous

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