EditorialATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Knowing when to stand down and when to stand up

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Science Advances  02 Oct 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 10, eaaz5011
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz5011

Kip Hodges

We live in an era when important policy decisions are increasingly made in haste and without due consideration of consequence. Many such decisions prove to be poor later on, but few are likely to be as immediately catastrophic as a decision to start a nuclear war. Unlike the days of the Cold War when a very small number of countries were capable of starting a nuclear war, nine countries now have a total of nearly 14,000 nuclear warheads according to the Federation of American Scientists. It has long been understood that nuclear war between Russia and the United States—the two …

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