The second Sun blossoms in the sky. A second pause and flashes of trees, the asphalt begins to melt. A few seconds later, the shock wave sweeps everything in its path and carries with it hundreds of tons of dust and debris into which houses are turned. A giant tree of a nuclear fungus blossoms above the city. Light fades. The end of the world is coming …
A terrible picture, is not it? It was shown more than once in fantastic catastrophe films. However, few people thought that the worst thing in a nuclear war is not the explosions themselves (although, of course, some of the victims will be a tribute to them).
After the well-known events that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the study of the consequences of a possible nuclear war – the destruction from explosions, the impact of radiation – began. In the 1980s, studies were conducted on the climatic consequences, called “nuclear winter”.
A fireball of a nuclear explosion burns objects at a great distance from the center. Up to a third of the energy of the explosion is released as a light pulse. During this time, a tree, paper, other flammable materials, flying sparks, burning fragments, cause fires that can last for many days.
When a large number of independent fires are combined into one big one, a “fiery whirlwind” is formed, capable of destroying the entire city (as was the case with the bombing of Dresden on February 13, 1945). The release of heat in the center of such a “tornado” raises huge masses of air. “Smerd” raises smoke, dust and soot that form a cloud covering the sunlight into the stratosphere, “nuclear night” begins, and then “nuclear winter”.
In the most conservative theories, with a nuclear conflict of medium scale, about 200 million tons of soot and dust are formed, 30% of which is carbon that absorbs sunlight. As a result, the area between the 30th and 60th degrees of the northern latitude will be deprived of sunlight for several weeks.
Why did scientists not notice “nuclear winter” before? The reason for this is that the nuclear tests conducted were single explosions, while the “mild” nuclear conflict scenario, accompanied by a “nuclear night”, provides for a blow to many major cities. In addition, the tests were carried out in such a way that there were no large fires.
Study and modeling of global problems began in the 1970s in the USSR. Similar results on the agreed scenario of nuclear war were simultaneously received by American scientists. In the future, calculations were made for two “limiting scenarios”: “hard” (total explosion power 10,000 Mt) and “soft” (100 Mt).
In the first case, approximately 75% of the total potential of nuclear powers is used. This is the so-called universal nuclear war. In the second scenario, less than 1% of the world’s nuclear arsenal is used up. True, this is 8200 “hirosim” (“hard” version – almost a million)!
The soot, smoke and dust in the atmosphere above the Northern Hemisphere, subjected to attacks, spread to huge areas, after 2 weeks covering the entire Northern Hemisphere and part of the Southern Hemisphere. Soot and dust will be in the atmosphere, creating an opaque veil that does not let light in. The particles will settle for a long time on the ground under the influence of gravity and wash out in rains.
Calculations have shown that dust and soot in the atmosphere will last much longer than previously thought. Ground air will be colder than the one above, the so-called water cycle in nature will significantly weaken, precipitation will be less. All this will lead to the fact that the “nuclear winter” will be prolonged. Sharp, strong (from 15 to 50 degrees in different regions) and long-term cooling of air over the continents will ruin almost all living things. Especially severe consequences would be in the summer, when above the land in the Northern Hemisphere the temperature will drop below the freezing point of water.
“Nuclear winter” would entail an avalanche of disastrous effects. This, above all, sudden temperature changes between the land and the ocean, which will cause the strongest hurricanes.Over cruel droughts plunged into the night, chained by cold continents. Plants do not have time to adjust to low temperatures and die.
Many animals in the Northern Hemisphere will not survive due to lack of food and the complexity of its search in the “nuclear night”. An important factor in the tropics and subtropics is cold. Many species of mammals, all birds, will be killed. Perhaps, reptiles will survive.
The question of the accuracy of results from a scientific point of view is very important. However, the “critical point”, after which irreversible changes in the Earth’s climate begin, has already been determined: the “nuclear threshold” is very low – about 100 Mt. No missile defense system can be 100% impenetrable. Meanwhile, for an irreparable disaster, 1% of the existing nuclear arsenals will suffice.
The phenomenon of “nuclear winter” was studied by the scientific community. In 1985, the Scientific Committee for the Study of Environmental Problems (SCOPE) published a two-volume edition on the assessment of the climatic and environmental consequences of nuclear war.
“ Calculations show ,” it said, “that dust and smoke will spread to the tropics and most of the Southern Hemisphere. Thus, even non-belligerent countries, including those located far from the conflict area, will experience its disastrous impact. India, Brazil, Nigeria or Indonesia can be destroyed as a result of nuclear war, despite the fact that no warhead will explode on their territory … “Nuclear winter” means a significant increase in the scale of suffering for humanity, including nations and regions not directly involved in nuclear war … Nuclear war will 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 the old Soviet slogan, a fragment of memories from childhood – “Peace to the World!”. Let’s make sure that everything that you have just read is left on paper only. Let’s live in peace! Peace to your home!