CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSIBLE FOR EXPLODING AMMO DUMPS
I'm still laughing at this one folks; these people are really getting desperate, and now have the cheek to present some pretty serious nonsense in a "science" journal.
Yes, you read that headline correctly: all those exploding ammo dumps that have been in the news in recent months are due to... climate change, according to this article sent along by G.B.:
And here's the gist of this Scientific American article:
It was a little before 4 A.M., on an airless morning in June 2018, when the arms depot in Baharka, Iraqi Kurdistan, blew up. Brightening the dawn sky for kilometers around, the blast sent rockets, bullets and artillery rounds hurtling in every direction. Officials say no one was killed. But were it not for the early hour and reduced garrison, the death toll might well have been horrendous.
A year later, another arsenal exploded just to the southwest of Baharka, reportedly destroying millions of dollars’ worth of ammunition amassed during the fight against ISIS. Two similar blasts around Baghdad followed a few weeks after that, killing and wounding dozens of people between them. Before the end of this past summer, at least six munitions sites had gone up in flames in Iraq alone, according to Iraqi security sources.
While details of the blasts were scarce, investigators agreed that most incidents shared a common theme: hot weather. Each explosion came in the midst of a long, scorching Iraqi summer, when temperatures routinely topped 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). And they all struck just as powerful heat waves ramped up. Explosives experts say such intense heat can weaken munitions’ structural integrity, cause the thermal expansion of explosive chemicals and damage protective shields.
Well, gee, color me surprised. High heat can cause munitions to explode? Rats! I was just about to barbecue my Big Bertha projectiles, and here I find out that lighting fires under munitions is probably not a good idea! But forget about lighting fires, it's all climate change:
As climate change raises summer temperatures and boosts the number and severity of heat waves the world over, weapons experts warn of more of such unplanned explosions at munitions sites, or UEMS—particularly in places that are already steeped in conflict or have poor stockpile management, or both. This potent combination is fueling a spate of destruction and death that has residents of heavily militarized areas on edge. “As soon as it gets hot, we fear the worst,” says Emad Hassan, a welder in Dora, a Baghdad neighborhood that has experienced several depot disasters.
So which is it? Climate change? Or merely poor storage problems, as the article backhandedly admits is actually the case? If the former, I have to be quite honestly extremely skeptical: the Russian ammo dump explosions didn't occur in "high heat areas," and as for storing ammunition safely, well, the Russians have been doing that for a pretty long time now and doing it with lots of munitions (Q.v. World War Two). And as for ammo dumps in the desert, high heat, and explosions, I have a couple of other difficulties with this climate change narrative that can be summed up in six words: "German Africa Corps" and "British Eighth Army" (q.v. Generals Wavell, Auchinlek, Graziani, Bastico, Cunningham, Ritchie, Rommel, &c). You may remember those entities as they chased each other around North Africa in sweltering heat from 1941 to 1943, shooting munitions at each other in temperatures of over a hundred degrees, and I don't recall reading about any exploding British, Italian, or German ammo dumps due to problems with climate change, high heat and poor storage. But now all of a sudden, Africa Corps and Eighth Army notwithstanding, we have a new fear to add to our fear porn list: high heat and exploding ammo dumps.
If all that sounds silly, that's because it is, just like the article. Yea, I get the business about long term storage and the breakdown of chemical stabilizers and so on. But isn't that a storage and use problem, having nothing to do with climate change? And the British Eighth Army comes to mind once again. Before its massive North African desert offensives in 1941 and again in 1942, the British stockpiled massive amounts of munitions and petrol in the desert for weeks... moving it, stockpiling it, and moving it again, and as far as I know, did so without incident. So color me skeptical again... there's something massively wrong with this article and its breezy assertions and attempts to tie all this to climate change.
See you on the flip side...
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