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Climate effects of a limited nulcear war -far worse than previously thought

A new study predicts 2 billion dead, 25-year winter after a ‘limited’ nuclear 22 July 14  IT’S a horrifying scene burned into our collective conscious: A flash of light, a blast of hot air and a ballooning mushroom cloud. But there’s much more to a nuclear war, as a new study reveals.

Now, a team of US atmospheric and environmental scientists have taken a detailed look at exactly what all that dust, ash and debris in the air means.

Specifically, they ran computer models on a fight between Pakistan and India through advanced climate predicting software developed to study pollution-based climate change.

The outcome?

It’s bad.

globalnukeNOEven for this “limited, regional nuclear war”, it means a one-to-two degree plunge in global temperatures and a nine-per cent cut in worldwide rainfall. In practical terms, that equates to worldwide crop failures and famine.

“This would self-loft to the stratosphere, where it would spread globally, producing a sudden drop in surface temperatures and intense heating of the stratosphere.”

The resulting “nuclear winter” would last at least 25 years — almost double that of previous estimates.

With the coldest temperatures for more than a 1000 years, but extending over decades, will come an expansion in sea ice — and killer frosts which will reduce growing seasons by between 10 and 40 days each year.

Other side-effects include a 20 to 50 per cent loss in the density of the ozone layer over populated areas. Such levels would be unprecedented in human history, the report says, causing widespread damage to agriculture and natural ecosystems — not to mention human skin cancer.

So much for a “limited” nuclear war.

Remember: The modern hydrogen-bomb technology of Russia, China and the United States makes such weapons as those possessed by India and Pakistan seem antique.

An exchange between these big players would likely produce far worse effects.

The scientists are confident in the accuracy of their assessment.

The computer model they plugged the data into takes into account atmospheric chemistry, ocean dynamics and even the interaction of sea ice and land masses with the air.

“Knowledge of the impacts of 100 small nuclear weapons should motivate the elimination of more than 17,000 nuclear weapons that exist today,” the researchers write.

July 23, 2014 - Posted by | general

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