What is a “nuclear winter”?

26 Apr

nuclear, winterIn the sky blooms 2nd Sun. A moment of pause and break out the trees begin to melt asphalt. A few seconds later the shock wave sweeps away everything in its path and carries away the hundreds of tons of dust and debris that become homes. Above the town blooming giant tree of nuclear mushroom. The light fades. There comes a doomsday…
A terrible picture, is not it? Its not been seen in science fiction films-made disasters. However, few people thought about the fact that the worst in a nuclear war is not in the explosions (although, of course, part of the victims will be a tribute to them exactly).
After the events that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki began to study the impact of a possible nuclear war – the destruction of the explosions, the effects of radiation. In the 80-ies were carried out research on climate impacts, called “nuclear winter”.

The fireball of a nuclear explosion burns objects at great distances from the center. Up to one third of the explosion energy is released in the form of a light pulse. During this time, light up the tree, paper and other flammable materials, flying sparks, burning debris caused fires, which can last for many days.
When multiple independent fires merged into one large, constitute the “firestorm” that would destroy the whole city (as it was when the bombing of Dresden on Feb. 13, 1945). The heat in the center of a “tornado” lifts up the vast mass of air. “Twister” raises the stratosphere smoke, dust and soot, which form a cloud covering the sun, comes “nuclear night ‘and then a” nuclear winter “.
According to the gentlest theories, with medium-sized nuclear conflict produces about 200 million tons of soot and dust, 30% of which is absorbing sunlight carbon. As a result, the region between the 30 th and 60 th degrees of north latitude would be deprived of sunlight for several weeks.

Why do scientists do not notice the “nuclear winter” before? The reason for this lies in the fact that conducted nuclear tests were single explosion, while the most “soft” scenario of a nuclear conflict, accompanied by a “nuclear night,” provides a blow to many major cities. In addition, tests were conducted so that it does not appear the large fires.
Study and modeling of global problems began in the 70 years in the Soviet Union. Similar results for the coherent scenario of nuclear war at the same time received and American scientists. Later, calculations were performed for two “extreme scenarios”: “hard” (total capacity 10 000 megaton explosions) and “soft” (100 Mt).
In the first case, approximately 75% of the total capacity of nuclear powers. This so-called general nuclear war. In the second scenario, “spent” less than 1% of our planet’s nuclear arsenal. True, this 8200 “Hiroshima” (“hard” version – almost a million)!

Soot, smoke and dust in the atmosphere over the Northern Hemisphere, Compromised spread over large areas, after 2 weeks of covering the whole Northern hemisphere and partly Southern. Soot and dust will be in the atmosphere, creating an opaque veil, do not transmit light. The particles will be a long time to settle down by gravity and washed out by rain.
Calculations showed that the dust and soot in the atmosphere will continue for much longer than previously thought. Surface air will be cooler situated above the so-called water cycle is much weakened, precipitation will be less. All this will lead to the fact that “nuclear winter” will be tightened. Sharp, strong (15 to 50 degrees in different regions) and long-term cooling of air over the continents destroy virtually all life. Particularly severe consequences would have been summer, when over land in the Northern Hemisphere temperature drops below freezing point.

“Nuclear Winter” would entail an avalanche of disastrous effects. First of all, sharp jumps in temperature between land and ocean, which will cause the strongest hurricanes. Over loaded into the night, handcuffed cold continents break out of the severe drought. Plants do not have time to adapt to low temperatures and will die.
Many animals in the Northern Hemisphere will not survive because of lack of food and the complexity of its search in the “nuclear nights”. In the tropics and subtropics important factor will be cold. Will die, many species of mammals, all birds. May be preserved reptiles.

The question of the accuracy of the results from the scientific point of view is very important. However, the “critical point”, after which begins the irreversible climate change is already defined: the “nuclear threshold” is very low – about 100 Mt. No system of missile defense can not be 100% impenetrable. Meanwhile, for irreparable harm is enough for 1% of existing nuclear arsenals.
The phenomenon of “nuclear winter” was studied by the scientific community. In 1985, the Scientific Committee for the Study of the Environment (SCOPE) issued a two-volume edition devoted to estimates of climatic and environmental consequences of nuclear war.
“Calculations show – it says – that the dust and smoke spread in the tropics and much of the southern hemisphere. Thus, even non-belligerent countries, including those far from the conflict area, will experience its devastating effects. India, Brazil, Nigeria or Indonesia can be destroyed by nuclear war, despite the fact that their territory does not break, no warhead … “nuclear winter” means a substantial increase in the scale of suffering for humanity, including the nation and the regions that are not involved directly in a nuclear war … Nuclear war would cause the destruction of life on Earth, a catastrophe, unprecedented in human history, and will be a threat to the very existence of mankind. ”

I remember an old Soviet slogan, a piece of memories from childhood – “World peace!”. Let us see that all what you have just read, it remained only on paper. Let’s live together! Peace to your home!

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Posted by on April 26, 2010 in Historical


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