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Longitude of start of WW3 by 2050


The period between 1945 and the present day has been peaceful, with no major wars between great powers. Some have argued that this degree of prolonged absence of conflict is nothing special historically speaking and may end soon, while others have argued this moment of calm will likely last for some time due to the deterrence effect of nuclear weapons, the unipolarity of U.S hegemony, globalisation and international trade, and the efforts of peacekeepers such as the United Nations.

At the time of writing, the Metaculus community has estimated the likelihood of a 'WW3' to be 10%.

If there is a "Third World War", what longitude will it start in?

Longitude will be represented on a scale of -180 to 180, with -180 representing 180°W and 180 representing 180°E. A latitude and longitude calculator can be accessed here. A static map can be accessed here.

Many wars are precipitated by regionally-confined international incidents resulting in a clear chain of events producing wider-scale conflict. The answer will be determined by either the longitude of the location of the incident precipitating a WW3 scenario, or the longitude of the region where the first direct confrontation takes place with as much specificity as possible. If the incident/confrontation is geographically long-range in nature (e.g the launch of an ICBM from North Korea to New York), the starting location will be used. If no such location can be identified with the consensus of three moderators, either two years into or following a WW3 scenario, the answer will resolve as ambiguous.

Likewise, the question will resolve as ambiguous if the following conditions for a "Third World War" are not met by 2050-01-01:

  • Consensus that a state of war exists between at least five G20 member-states, spread out over at least five continents (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and/or Australasia)

  • Conflicts between these states has resulted in an excess of ten million deaths and/or damage amounting to 40% or more of global GDP at its level when the first hostilities began.

This question is accompanied by an identical entry, posing the same question except with latitude. It can be found here

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