Among the many Bond rogue – esque projects dreamed up during the course of its Cold War, few come stranger than “Project Iceworm, ” the shady US program to build a network of top secret nuclear weapon launching sites beneath the Danish field of Greenland. The largest and most impressive of the US footings was Camp Century, a warren of passageways and laboratories under northwest Greenland’s ice sheet that was powered by its own portable nuclear reactor.
After simply eight years of operation, Camp Century was decommissioned in 1967 due to engineering woes and a political scandal centered on whether Denmark have already been given the US full permission to house nuclear issues in their territory.
As the Cold War pointed, the base was largely forgotten , not least because it was hoped to remain “preserved for eternity” under a blanket of snow and frost. Nonetheless, with climate change knocking at the door, it looks like a different kind of melting could uncover all.
A study published in 2016 use simulations had demonstrated that the frost above and around Camp Century could thaw by 2090 under a “business-as-usual” climate change scenario. Not exclusively would this unearth the once-secret vacated military basi, but it also impounds the potential to let loose the huge amounts of chemical and nuclear waste left at the site. These pollutants could leech into the encircling surface water and trigger a plethora of questions for the island’s human population and ecosystem.
Another study, written last year in the periodical Global Environmental Politics, took a further look at developments in the situation at Camp Century, reasoning it has the potential to fire up some long-frozen geopolitical tensions. It’s not very clear how much Denmark knew about the U’S schedules in Greenland. While they agreed the US could have the Thule Air Base in northwest Greenland, the issue of nuclear weapons in Danish country was a huge no-no. To make subjects even thornier, Greenland has since transitioned to a self-governing overseas administrative separation of Denmark.
If the climatic scenario predicted does hit, as anticipated, who will be responsible for the clean-up of poisonous chemicals and radioactive materials?
As the study reasons, Camp Century is not the only problem. This scenario serves as one example of how climate change could provoke a very large number of unforeseen upshots in international politics, specially when it is necessary to overseas military bases.
“The case could be the proverbial canary in the coal mine for future politics surrounding overseas armed basis, ” according to study writer Jeff Colgan.
“Climate change can create knock-on environmental problems associated with a military base’s infrastructure or debris that disrupt the international politics that govern the base, ” he wrote in the study. “Any cleanup expenses or compensation involved in the knock-on environmental problems create an unfunded indebtednes for the legion country, the country operates a base, or both.”
This is just another unexpected fallout of the climate issue we’re facing that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.