Science & Tech

How would a nuclear war affect global warming?

How would a nuclear war affect global warming?
What Would Really Happen During A Nuclear War? | Unveiled

A small regional nuclear war could impact global warming – but the results are still pretty grim.

Nasa computer models delved into the impact of 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs as powerful as 15,000 tons of TNT, exchanged between two developing nuclear powers such as India and Pakistan.

Researchers found that the fires left behind would send five million metric tons of black carbon into the lowest altitude layer of the atmosphere. The soot would absorb solar heat and rise so high that it wouldn't be able to settle back down to the ground.

The results could actually be global cooling, according to Nasa climate models.

Nasa physical scientist Luke Oman at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said: "The effects would [lead] to unprecedented climate change," before suggesting that two to three years after, the average global temperature would drop by at least 2.25 degrees F and 5.4 to 7.2 degrees F in the tropics, Europe, Asia and Alaska.

This wouldn't be a good thing, though.

"Our results suggest that agriculture could be severely impacted, especially in areas that are susceptible to late-spring and early-fall frosts," Oman said, comparing the potential crop failures and famines to those that followed Indonesia's 1815 volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora.

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In other nuclear-related news, the US Department of Homeland Security offered some useful advice in the unlikely event of an apocalyptic nuclear explosion: Don't use hair conditioner.

They suggested avoiding the hair product to prevent significant radiation exposure. However, using shampoo is a critical step in the decontamination process, as this removes nuclear fallout.

The bizarre fascinating reason is that the substance can cause radioactive material to stick to your hair.

Perry Romanowski, a cosmetics chemist, previously explained to NPR: "Unlike shampoo, conditioners are meant to stay behind on your hair."

"Skin lotions or moisturising lotions or colour cosmetics that have oils — these go on your skin and can attract dust or radiation particles from the air. So that would be a concern," he added.

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