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Climate change from nuclear war smoke can threaten global food supply and human health

Rutgers University, US Center for Atmospheric Research, and other institutions. Credit: Ready.gov

Rutgers University, US Center for Atmospheric Research, and other institutions.


The study will be displayed in Journal of Geophysical Research — Atmospheres.

Scientists have understood it for a long time nuclear weapons When used in urban and industrial areas, it can cause large-scale fires that can inject large amounts of smoke into the stratosphere. Global climate change, Leads to the term “nuclear winter”.

But in a new study, researchers are using the latest climate models, including aerosol and nitric oxide emissions, for the first time. Ozone chemistry And surface Ultraviolet rays Caused by the absorption of sunlight by smoke from regional and global nuclear warfare.

This can result in the loss of most of the protected ozone layer, which can take 10 years to recover, generate very high UV radiation on the Earth’s surface for several years, and even put it at risk. Human health And groceries.

Alan Robock, one of the authors of the study, said, “I thought that ozone would be destroyed after the nuclear war and the UV rays on the surface would be enhanced, but too much smoke would block the UV rays.” A prominent professor at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick. “For the first time, we calculated how this works and quantified how it depends on the amount of smoke.”

The results of the study showed that in the case of a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan producing 5 megatons of soot, enhanced UV radiation would begin within a year. In the case of the World War between the United States and Russia, which produces 150 megatons, it begins about eight years later. For medium amounts of smoke, the impact lies between these extreme cases.

In the case of a global nuclear war, heating in the stratosphere and other factors will reduce the ozone layer for 15 years, resulting in a peak loss of 75% worldwide and 65% in the tropics. This is larger than the 1980s forecast, which envisioned a large injection of nitrogen oxides but did not include the effects of smoke.

In the case of a regional nuclear war, the world’s column ozone will be reduced by 25% and recovery will take 12 years. This is similar to the previous simulation, but the new simulation has a shorter soot life and faster recovery time.

“The important thing is Nuclear war “It’s worse than we thought it would be, and we need to avoid it,” Robock said. “In the future, in other studies, how agriculture will be based on changes in temperature, rain, and sunlight.” I calculated if it would change, but it’s not included yet. The effects of UV rays. Also, UV rays. Light It will damage animals, including us, and increase cancer and cataracts. ”


Climate change from nuclear war smoke can threaten global food supply and human health


For more information:
Charles G. Bardeen et al, Extreme Ozone Loss After Nuclear War Causes Increased Surface UV Radiation, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (2021). DOI: 10.1029 / 2021JD035079

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Rutgers University

Quote: Climate change due to nuclear war smoke can threaten global food supply, human health (October 19, 2021) October 19, 2021 https://phys.org/news/2021- Obtained from 10-climate-nuclear-war-threaten-global. html

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Climate change from nuclear war smoke can threaten global food supply and human health

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