More Climate Science
A new study from National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado revealed that a ‘small’ nuclear exchange would solve the global warming problem.
That wasn’t what they intended it to show, but it sure would be a quick fix to this impending global climate change heating up disaster the President and John Kerry keep flogging wouldn’t it? But seriously, it shows a drastic global cooling effect brought on by nuclear exchange. The term nuclear winter is bandied about, but in this theoretical exercise things don’t go quite far enough to trigger Fimbulwinter.
In the study, only the US is still a superpower but we’re not the problem. That term superpower may need to go to the shop for repair all things considered, but for once the study didn’t presume Evil Bush pushed the buttons to send us to perdition. Instead India and Pakistan square off and slug it out with low yield bombs in the Hiroshima class range. To the tune of 100 15kt weapons.
What they collectively have 100 of that would need nuking isn’t clear, but assume bases, cities and so forth, and maybe re-nuking some targets. It’s a study in long term effect after all, not military use of the weapons. 100 of them in the territory given certainly implies some tactical activity for their deployment as well as strategic hits on infrastructures and civilian centers. Therefore we can assume air bursts and ground bursts, as each one will have different effects for the purposes of the study. As an aside, they must have really dedicated fighters and leaders in their model to continue fighting long enough to exchange 100 nukes. Be that as it may, once the blasting is over the study simulates the effect on climate on land, sea and air. The conclusion as you would expect is catastrophe not just for India and Pakistan, but globally.
We’re talking, according to the study, global cooling effect and the loss of the ozone layer for as long as a decade. The cooling to be caused by 5 million metric tons of dust spewing into the atmosphere.
The conclusion is that 100 weapons of Hiroshima scale would throw up 5 million metric tons of sunlight blocking dust and drop average surface temperatures world wide 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit ( or for fuzzy foreigners 1.5 degrees Celsius). That would be the lowest averages in over 1000 years. Here in the US we’d experience winters that were significantly colder by from 4.5 to 10.8 degrees F and cooler summers. All of which would lead to lethal frosts and reduced growing seasons. No doubt causing world wide famine and destruction of biblical plague proportions. if it didn’t say that last part, it can be pretty much concluded though. It was originally thought by previous studies that the temperatures would go back to something like normal after a decade or so, but this new study shows the cool temperatures could persist for 25 years or more. Global precipitation would fall off and this would lead to forest fires world wide which of course would raise the amount of particulate in the atmosphere. Somewhere in there dogs and cats probably start living together and there’s mass hysteria.
Now this is the third study of this nature that’s been done, and “their conclusions support each other”. As the models get more sophisticated they show the effects of a limited regional nuke war to be more and more pronounced.
If you have access, you can see the detail of their findings here, but your bumbled journalist here gets a big 403 Forbidden from the link.
All of this stuff is cool, no pun intended, and interesting. Well, other than perhaps the models might look to real climate history for some reference about effects of nuclear above ground detonations on the earth’s climate. It’s not like the world hasn’t had any experience or history to go by.
First there’s the bombs. 100 bombs at 15kt each is 15000 kt, or 1.5 megatons. That’s gonna be a bad start to anyone’s weekend. After all 1 exploding dumb 250 lb iron bomb ruins your day if you’re nearby.
But the “BRAVO” hydrogen test shot on Bikini Atoll was 15 megatons all by itself, so, multiply this little ground war’s explosions by 10 and we’re in the same range as this one explosion on Bikini. India and Pakistan are going to have to fight a little harder. The United States alone, in atmospheric nuclear testing, accounted for 137 megatons worth of explosions above ground over a 17 year period. That works out to a little over 8 megatons worth of nuclear explosions per year for 17 years. That’s just the US contribution. France, Britain, The Soviets, ‘Red’ China, all tested atmospheric bombs, all in the megaton range. The Soviet Tzar Bomba was rated, by itself, as at, or over, 50 megatons. Before the distinction is made about tests over the ocean, versus tests over the land, the US detonated 27 nuclear devices here in the US, above ground, in 1957 alone.
The various nuclear armed parties continued with these above ground tests up until 1980.
1.5 megatons causes drastic global cooling?
Then there’s the dust estimates – 5 million metric tons of dust high into the atmosphere. By way of comparison, Mount St. Helens in 1980 is estimated to have blown 1.5 million metric tons 20 miles into the atmosphere with 500 million falling tons falling in Washington, Idaho and Montana. Krakatoa in 1883 is estimated to have produced 12 BILLION metric tons of dust – I based this number on a study here – which estimates a 10,000 megaton nuke war would put 25 billion metric tons of dust into the atmosphere and that study estimates that amount to be about double the dust produced by Krakatoa. Krakatoa is credited with screwing up the weather in 1884, with results like crazy prolific rain in Southern California and average Northern Hemisphere summer temperatures falling by 2.2 degrees F.
There’s no disputing the effect of dust in the atmosphere, there should be a serious dispute about the effect the amount of dust used in their sophisticated model will produce. The warmers will probably claim that was why it didn’t get warmer until after 1980 when atmospheric nuclear testing stopped.
Finally there’s the business of stripping off the ozone layer in the atmosphere. We can only speculate that our modern ozone must be different than the ozone available in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s since that old timer ozone didn’t all vanish when we nuked Enewetak in 1952 to the tune of 10.5 megatons worth of boom, dust and excited atomic particles.
It is safe to believe that some fair percentage of the people involved in these studies probably don’t remember atmospheric nuclear testing, or possibly even Mount St Helens, but they, or their elders who do, might consider cracking open a world history book from the WWII onwards and then a climate history review between 1945 and 1981.
And then try tuning their keeno sophisticated nuclear war climate models and running them again.