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Nuclear War Bad

Nuclear war causes extinction prefer the latest studies

Choi, 2011
(Charles Q., 2-22-11, National Geographic, Small Nuclear War Could Reverse Global
Warming for Years?,, accessed
7-15-13, EB)
Even a regional nuclear war could spark "unprecedented" global cooling and reduce
rainfall for years, according to U.S. government computer models. Widespread
famine and disease would likely follow, experts speculate. During the Cold War a
nuclear exchange between superpowerssuch as the one feared for years between
the United States and the former Soviet Unionwas predicted to cause a "nuclear
winter." In that scenario hundreds of nuclear explosions spark huge fires, whose
smoke, dust, and ash blot out the sun for weeks amid a backdrop of dangerous
radiation levels. Much of humanity eventually dies of starvation and disease. Today,
with the United States the only standing superpower, nuclear winter is little more
than a nightmare. But nuclear war remains a very real threatfor instance, between
developing-world nuclear powers, such as India and Pakistan. To see what climate
effects such a regional nuclear conflict might have, scientists from NASA and other
institutions modeled a war involving a hundred Hiroshima-level bombs, each
packing the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNTjust 0.03 percent of the world's
current nuclear arsenal. (See a National Geographic magazine feature on weapons
of mass destruction.) The researchers predicted the resulting fires would kick up
roughly five million metric tons of black carbon into the upper part of the
troposphere, the lowest layer of the Earth's atmosphere. In NASA climate models,
this carbon then absorbed solar heat and, like a hot-air balloon, quickly lofted even
higher, where the soot would take much longer to clear from the sky. (Related:
"'Nuclear Archaeologists' Find World War II Plutonium.") Reversing Global Warming?
The global cooling caused by these high carbon clouds wouldn't be as catastrophic
as a superpower-versus-superpower nuclear winter, but "the effects would still be
regarded as leading to unprecedented climate change," research physical scientist
Luke Oman said during a press briefing Friday at a meeting of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. Earth is currently in
a long-term warming trend. After a regional nuclear war, though, average global
temperatures would drop by 2.25 degrees F (1.25 degrees C) for two to three years
afterward, the models suggest. At the extreme, the tropics, Europe, Asia, and Alaska
would cool by 5.4 to 7.2 degrees F (3 to 4 degrees C), according to the models.
Parts of the Arctic and Antarctic would actually warm a bit, due to shifted wind and
ocean-circulation patterns, the researchers said. After ten years, average global
temperatures would still be 0.9 degree F (0.5 degree C) lower than before the
nuclear war, the models predict. (Pictures: "Red Hot" Nuclear-Waste Train Glows in
Infrared.) Years Without Summer For a time Earth would likely be a colder, hungrier

planet. "Our results suggest that agriculture could be severely impacted, especially
in areas that are susceptible to late-spring and early-fall frosts," said Oman, of
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "Examples similar to
the crop failures and famines experienced following the Mount Tambora eruption in
1815 could be widespread and last several years," he added. That Indonesian
volcano ushered in "the year without summer," a time of famines and unrest. (See
pictures of the Mount Tambora eruption.) All these changes would also alter
circulation patterns in the tropical atmosphere, reducing precipitation by 10 percent
globally for one to four years, the scientists said. Even after seven years, global
average precipitation would be 5 percent lower than it was before the conflict,
according to the model. In addition, researcher Michael Mills, of the National Center
for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, found large decreases in the protective
ozone layer, leading to much more ultraviolet [uv] radiation reaching Earth's surface
and harming the environment and people. "The main message from our work,"
NASA's Oman said, "would be that even a regional nuclear conflict would have
global consequences."

Nuclear war causes the earth to explode

Chalko, Ph.D., Head of Geophysics Research, Scientific E Research P/L,
(Tom J., Scientific Engineering Research, Can a Neutron Bomb Accelerate Global
Volcanic Activity?, accessed 7-15-13,
Consequences of using modern nuclear weapons can be far more serious than
previously imagined. These consequences relate to the fact that most of the heat
generated in the planetary interior is a result of nuclear decay. Over the last few
decades, all superpowers have been developing so-called "neutron bombs". These
bombs are designed to emit intensive neutron radiation while creating relatively
little local mechanical damage. Military are very keen to use neutron bombs in
combat, because lethal neutron radiation can peneterate even the largest and
deepest bunkers. However, the military seem to ignore the fact that a neutron
radiation is capable to reach significant depths in the planetary interior. In the
process of passing through the planet and losing its intensity, a neutron beam
stimulates nuclei of radioactive isotopes naturally present inside the planet to
disintegrate. This disintegration in turn, generates more neutron and other
radiation. The entire process causes increased nuclear heat generation in the
planetary interior, far greater than the initial energy of the bomb. It typically takes
many days or even weeks for this extra heat to conduct/convect to the surface of
the planet and cause increased seismic/volcanic activity. Due to this variable delay,
nuclear tests are not currently associated with seismic/volcanic activity, simply
because it is believed that there is no theoretical basis for such an association.
Perhaps you heard that after every major series of nuclear test there is always a
period of increased seismic activity in some part of the world. This observable fact
CANNOT be explained by direct energy of the explosion. The mechanism of neutron

radiation accelerating decay of radioactive isotopes in the planetary interior,

however, is a VERY PLAUSIBLE and realistic explanation. The process of accelerating
volcanic activity is nuclear in essence. Accelerated decay of unstable radioactive
isotopes already present in the planetary interior provides the necessary energy.
The TRUE danger of modern nuclear weaponry is that their neutron radiation is
capable to induce global overheating of the planetary interior, global volcanic
activity and, in extreme circumstances, may even cause the entire planet to

Nuclear war destroys the environment

Nissani, Professor at Wayne State, 1992
(Moti, Lives in the Balance: The Cold War and American Politics 1945-1991,, accessed 7-15-13, EB)
There will be fewer people and less industrial and commercial activity long after the
war, hence some serious environmental threats will be ameliorated. By killing
billions and destroying industrial infrastructures, nuclear war might, for instance,
halt or slow down the suspected trend of global warming. On balance, however,
the war's overall environmental impact will almost certainly be on the negative side.
Radioactive fallout will contaminate soils and waters. We shall probably learn to
adjust to these new conditions, perhaps by shunning certain regions or by carrying
radioactivity meters everywhere we go the way our ancestors carried spears. Still,
this will lower the quality of human life. Nuclear explosions might create immense
quantities of dust and smoke. The dust and smoke might blanket, darken, and cool
the entire planet. Although the extent of the damage is unclear, 24 it would be far
more severe during the growing season-late spring and summer in the northern
latitudes. One Cassandran and controversial prediction sounds a bit like the eerie
twilight described in H. G. Wells' The Time Machine. This "nuclear winter" projection
forecasts freezing summertime temperatures,25 temporary climatic changes (e.g.,
violent storms, dramatic reductions in rainfall), lower efficiencies of plant
photosynthesis, disruption of ecosystems and farms, loss of many species, and the
death of millions of people from starvation and cold. However, even these
pessimists expect a return to normal climatic conditions within a few years. 26a,27

Nuclear winter causes extinction

The Columbia Missourian 9[June 11,]
Nuclear winter is a term used to describe the dramatic global climate change that
could follow a nuclear war.According to Starrs Web site, a hypothetical nuclear war
between India and Pakistan fought with 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapons
would throw 5 million tons of smoke into the stratosphere ,enough to block 10 percent
of the sun's rays from reaching the northern hemisphere shortening growing seasons

and causing the lowest temperatures in 1,000 years . After 10 years, 40 percent of that
smoke would still be in the stratosphere. The average nuclear warhead today is
between eight and 50 times more powerful than the 15 kiloton bomb dropped on
Hiroshima. Nuclear war is essentially suicide for humanity , Starr said.

New climate models taking into account previous unknowns

estimate the effect of a nuclear war to be more destructive
than earlier predictions.
Mills, et al*., 2008 (Michael J., Owen B. Toon, Richard Turco, Douglas E
Kinnison, Rolando R. Garcia, Massive global ozone loss predicted following regional
nuclear conflict, The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of
We use a chemistry-climate model and new estimates of smoke produced by fires in
contemporary cities to calculate the impact on stratospheric ozone of a regional
nuclear war between developing nuclear states involving 100 Hiroshima-size bombs
exploded in cities in the northern subtropics. We find column ozone losses in excess
of 20% globally, 2545% at midlatitudes, and 5070% at northern high latitudes
persisting for 5 years, with substantial losses continuing for 5 additional years .
Column ozone amounts remain near or <220 Dobson units at all latitudes even after
three years, constituting an extratropical ozone hole. The resulting increases in UV
radiation could impact the biota significantly, including serious consequences for
human health. The primary cause for the dramatic and persistent ozone depletion is
heating of the stratosphere by smoke, which strongly absorbs solar radiation. The
smoke-laden air rises to the upper stratosphere, where removal mechanisms are
slow, so that much of the stratosphere is ultimately heated by the localized smoke
injections. Higher stratospheric temperatures accelerate catalytic reaction cycles,
particularly those of odd-nitrogen, which destroy ozone. In addition, the strong
convection created by rising smoke plumes alters the stratospheric circulation,
redistributing ozone and the sources of ozone-depleting gases, including N 2O and
chlorofluorocarbons. The ozone losses predicted here are significantly greater than
previous nuclear winter/UV spring calculations, which did not adequately
represent stratospheric plume rise. Our results point to previously unrecognized
mechanisms for stratospheric ozone depletion.

A nuclear winter would destroy climate cycles leading to

unprecedented atmospheric cooling and destruction of
Robock*, et. al., 2007 (Alan, Luke Oman, and Georgiy L. Stenchikov, April,
Geophysical Research- Atmospheres)

As found by Robock et al. [2006] for a 5 Tg case, the black carbon particles in the
aerosol layer for the 150 Tg case are heated by absorption of shortwave radiation
and lofted into the upper stratosphere. The aerosols quickly spread globally and
produce a long-lasting climate forcing (Fig. 1). They end up much higher than is
typical of weakly absorbing volcanic sulfate aerosols, which typically are just above
the tropopause [Stenchikov et al., 1998]. As a result, the soot aerosols have a very
long residence time and continue to affect surface climate for more than a decade.
The mass e-folding time for the smoke is 4.6 yr, as compared to 1 yr for typical
volcanic eruptions [Oman et al., 2006a] and 1 week for tropospheric aerosols. After
4.6 yr, the e-folding time is reduced, but is still longer than that of volcanic aerosols.
In addition to the lofting of the smoke by solar absorption, another reason for this
difference is that volcanic sulfate aerosols are larger, with an effective radius of 0.5
m, and thus they have a higher settling velocity than the smaller smoke aerosols.
This long smoke aerosol lifetime is different from results found in previous nuclear
winter simulations, which either fixed the vertical extent of the aerosols [Turco et
al., 1983] or used older-generation climate models with limited vertical resolution
and low model tops [Aleksandrov and Stenchikov, 1983; Covey et al., 1984; Malone
et al., 1986], artificially limiting the particle lifetimes. The maximum change in net
global-average surface shortwave radiation for the 150 Tg case is 100 W m-2 (Fig.
2). This negative forcing persists for many years, with the global- average value
still at 20 W m-2 even 10 years after the initial smoke injection. This forcing
greatly exceeds the maximum global-average surface forcing of 4 W m-2 for the
1991 Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption [Kirchner et al., 1999; Oman et al., 2005]), the
largest of the 20th century, also shown in Fig. 2. The volcanic forcing disappeared
with an e-folding time of only 1 yr, and during the first year averaged 3.5 W/m2
(Fig. 2). The effects of the smoke cloud on surface temperature are extremely large
(Fig. 2). Stratospheric temperatures are also severely perturbed (Fig. 3). A global
average surface cooling of 7C to 8C persists for years, and after a decade the cooling is still
4C (Fig. 2). Considering that the global average cooling at the depth of the last ice
age 18,000 yr ago was about 5C, this would be a climate change unprecedented
in speed and amplitude in the history of the human race. The temperature changes
are largest over land. Maps of the temperature changes for the Northern
Hemisphere summers for the year of smoke injection (Year 0) and the next year
(Year 1) are shown in Fig. 4. Cooling of more than 20C occurs over large areas of
North America and of more than 30C over much of Eurasia, including all
agricultural regions. There are also large temperature changes in the tropics and
over Southern Hemisphere continents.Large climatic effects would occur in regions
far removed from the target areas or the countries involved in the conflict. As
examples of the actual temperature changes in important grain-growing regions, we
have plotted the time series of daily minimum air temperature for grid points in
Iowa, United States, at 42N, 95W, and in Ukraine at 50N, 30E (Fig. 5). For both
locations (shown in Fig. 4), minimum temperatures rapidly plummet below freezing
and stay there for more than a year. In Ukraine, they stay below freezing for more
than two years. Clearly, this would have agricultural implications. As a result of the
cooling of the Earths surface, evapotranspiration is reduced and the global
hydrological cycle is weakened. In addition, Northern Hemisphere summer
monsoon circulations collapse, because the driving continent-ocean temperature

gradient does not develop. The resulting global precipitation is reduced by about
45% (Fig. 2). As an example, Fig. 6 shows a map of precipitation change for the
Northern Hemisphere summer one year after the smoke injection. The largest
precipitation reductions are in the Intertropical Convergence Zone and in areas
affected by the North American, Asian, and African summer monsoons. The small
areas of increased precipitation are in the subtropics in response to a severely
weakened Hadley Cell. Figure 7 shows time series of monthly precipitation for the
same Iowa location as shown in Fig. 5, and it is clear that these large precipitation
reductions would also have agricultural implications. This is the first time an
atmosphere-ocean general circulation model of the climate system has been used
to study nuclear winter. It is the first one to be able to estimate the amplitude and
time scale of ocean cooling, and to evaluate the time the system will need to return
to the previous equilibrium. This is because the model explicitly models the effects
of the thermal inertia of the ocean at different depths, as well as oceanic circulation
changes. The long- lasting climate response to this smoke injection is a
combination of the ability of the model to loft the soot aerosols high into the
stratosphere, and of the ability of the model to calculate the characteristic response
time of the climate system.

The effects of a nuclear winter would be devastating, leading

to the worst ice age in global history and starvation that would
lead to extinction.
Robock*, et. al., 2007 (Alan, Luke Oman, and Georgiy L. Stenchikov, April,
Geophysical Research- Atmospheres)
The amplitude of the climate changes from the 5 Tg, 50 Tg and 150 Tg cases are
compared to those from global warming of the past century in Fig. 8 and climate
change of the past 1000 yr in Fig. 9. In both cases it is clear that all cases would
produce unprecedented long- lasting climate change. The 50 Tg and 150 Tg cases
produce cooling as large or larger than that experienced 18,000 yr ago during the
coldest period of the last Ice Age. Harwell and Hutchinson [1986] clearly described
the impacts of nuclear winter. They assumed that there would be no food
production around the world for one year and concluded that most of the people on
the planet would run out of food and starve to death by then . Our results show that
this period of no food production needs to be extended by many years, making the
impacts of nuclear winter even worse than previously thought. Agriculture would be
affected by many factors, including temperature changes, precipitation changes,
and changes in insolation [e.g., Robock et al., 1993; Maytn et al., 1995]. As an
example, Fig. 10 shows changes in the length of the freeze-free growing season for
the third full growing seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Such
large reductions in growing season would completely eliminate crops that have
insufficient time to reach maturity. Also, global ozone loss is likely [Toon et al.,
2006], with effects on downward ultraviolet radiation [Vogelmann et al., 1992] and

atmospheric circulation. Further analysis of these and other effects, which is

beyond the scope of this paper, is needed.

Even a small nuclear exchange would set a fire large enough to

trigger a nuclear winter.
Lovett, 2008 (Richard A., April, V. 128, Iss. 4, p. 30-36, Analog Science Fiction &
Fact, Section: Science Fact)
If that scenario sounds familiar, it's because something similar was proposed (and
hotly debated) in 1983 by a team of scientists spearheaded by the late Carl Sagan.
That team, whose initials led them to become known as TTAPS (for Turco, Toon,
Ackerman, Pollack, and Sagan), dubbed their theory "nuclear winter" and posited
that smoke from fires ignited in a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet
Union would darken the sun and plunge temperatures below freezing across much
of the globe. Unfortunately, the climate models of the era left a lot of margin of
error, and while Sagans team stuck to their general findings, they would later admit
that they'd made some mistakes in the details. In particular, in the aftermath of the
first Gulf War, Carl Sagan predicted that smoke from Kuwaiti oil well fires would
have global consequences: something that didn't happen. Sagan's team, however,
was modeling an all-out nuclear war between two superpowers, in which hundreds
or even thousands of enormous bombs were used by each side. (In one scenario,
the total explosive power was 5,000 megatons.) With the end of the Cold War, the
risk of such a holocaust receded, and so, it seemed, did the risk of nuclear winter.
But now, a new team, led by two members of the original TAPPS team, believe that
this relief was premature. In a series of papers presented at a 2006 meeting of the
American Geophysical Union, these scientists wondered what would happen in a
smaller nuclear exchange between any of the world's emerging nuclear powers.
Nobody knows how such a war would play out, but if you're a small nuclear power
with a serious grudge against a neighbor, you're likely to use your arsenal primarily
against cities-especially if you have only a limited number of relatively small bombs
("small" defined as approximately the power of those dropped on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki). It turns out that the global effects from even a limited exchange of such
bombs might not be vastly different from those of the monstrous H-bombs the U.S.
and U.S.S.R. once aimed at each other. Partly that's because we have better
atmospheric models today than the TTAPS team did twenty years ago, allowing us
to examine in more detail the way large smoke plumes behave in the atmosphere.
But it also turns out that you can set an enormous fire with a relatively small bomb.
When it comes to destroying a dty, says one of the original TAPPS members, Richard
Turco,1 "a megatonscale weapon is simply overkill."

Even a small nuclear war causes dramatic climate

Sagan 83 CarlSagan, B.A., B.S., and PhD University of Chicago, former professor
of biology and genetics at Stanford and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at

Harvard, former Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell, two-time
winner of the NASA medal for scientific achievement, Peabody award recipient, and
Pulitzer prize winning author 1983
As the fine particles fall out of the atmosphere, carrying radio-activity to the ground, the light levels increase and the
surface warms. The depleted ozone layer now permits ultraviolet light to reach the Earth's surface in increased proportions. The relative timing of the multitude of
adverse consequences of a nuclear war is shown in Table 2, on the following page. Perhaps the most striking and unexpected consequence of our study is that even a
comparatively small nuclear war can have devastating climatic consequences , provided cities are targeted (see Case 14 in
Figure 1; here, the centers of 100 major NATO and Warsaw Pact cities are burning). There is an indication of a very rough threshold at which severe
climatic consequences are triggered -- around a few hundred nuclear explosions over cities, for smoke generation, or
around 2,000 to 3,000 high-yield surface bursts at, e.g., missile silos, for dust generation and ancillary fires. Fine particles can be injected into the atmosphere at increasing rates with
only minor effects until these thresholds are crossed. Thereafter, the effects rapidly increase in severity.n13

Nuclear weapons cause extinction

Nissani 1992 (Associate Professor of genetics, campaign financing,
environmental science and politics, greenhouse effect, English, media studies, cold
war history, critical thinking, philosophy, cognitive psychology) (Moti Lives in the
Balance: the Cold War and American Politics ch 2
There are two basic types of nuclear weapons. In an A-bomb (atomic or fission
bomb), atoms of heavy elements (uranium-235 or plutonium-239) break up
(fission) into lighter elements and release energy.In an H-bomb (hydrogen, fusion,
or thermonuclear bomb), two isotopes of the lightest element (hydrogen) are
fused into a heavier element (usually helium, the next lightest) and produce an
enormous explosion. There is a curious hierarchical relationship among the
explosive components of nuclear bombs. Because fission is set in motion by
conventional explosives, every A-bomb contains both fissionable materials and
conventional explosives. In turn, the best available evidence to date suggests
that fusion of hydrogen isotopes can be set off only at enormous temperatures
(hence the name "thermonuclear bomb"). Though it might be possible in the
future to produce the required temperatures through laser beams or other
processes, at present they can be produced only through the explosion of a
fission bomb. An H-bomb explosion, then, is a three-layered process that takes
place almost at once-a conventional explosion which sets off a fission explosion,
which then sets off a fusion explosion.Several variations of these two bombs
exist. In the neutron bomb the initial radiation component (see below) of the
explosion is enhanced and the blast and heat components are reduced. In a more
important variant, the H-bomb's core is surrounded by a shell of uranium-238.
This adds, at little additional cost, considerable explosive power. The result in this
case is a four-layered series of explosions:conventional, fission of uranium-235
(or of plutonium-239), fusion of two hydrogen isotopes, and fission of uranium238.2a,3a For any given weight of explosives, the yield of nuclear bombs is
roughly 3.5 million times greater than the yield of conventional explosives. In the
1980s, the average American nuclear warhead weighed about 100 kg and had an
equivalent yield of some 350,000,000 kg (or 350,000 metric tons) of TNT.2b Such
enormous amounts of energy can be more conveniently expressed in thousands

of metric tons of TNT (kilotons, abbreviated as kt), or in millions of tons

(megatons, or Mt). For example, the average American warhead's yield was 350
kt, or 0.35 Mt. Nuclear and conventional explosions also differ in their physical
effects. Conventional bombs destroy by producing a blast. At their center, they
can only reach a maximum temperature of some 5000C and they emit no
ionizing radiation.4 Incendiary bombs destroy and kill by starting fires and by
burning people alive, not through blast and ionizing radiation. While nuclear
bombs produce far more destructive blasts per unit of weight than conventional
bombs, they also produce devastatingly high temperatures (similar to those at
the center of the sun) and radiation levels.

The radiation from nuclear fallout will spread globally, making

post war living impossible for centuries
Hoffman, 1999
(Russel D., Computer Programmer andwriter, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons,
A significant percentage, probably most, of the people who die from a nuclear
attack will die much later, from the widespread release of radioactive material into
the environment. These deaths will occur all over the world, for centuries to come.
Scattered deaths, and pockets of higher mortality rates, will continue from cancer,
leukemia, and other health effects, especially genetic damage to succeeding
generations. Nuclear weapons do not recognize the end of a war, or signed peace
treaties, or even the deaths of all the combatants. They simply keep on killing a
percentage of whoever happens to inhale or ingest their deadly byproducts . Some
deaths will occur hundreds and even thousands of miles away, because low levels of
ionizing radiation are capable of causing the full spectrum of health effects, albeit at
a lower rate within the population. Not to mention the radioactive runoff from the
rivers and streams that flow through the blast area and the area under the
radioactive mushroom cloud's drift. It may carry its deadly cargo for thousands of
miles, raining a fallout of death only on some cities, and not on others. It will land
upon nations which had not been involved in any way in India's dispute with
Pakistan. These nations will be mighty hurt and mighty upset. Nuclear weapons do
not recognize international borders.