Regional nuclear war could create catastrophic global cooling, say scientists
Not fully convinced that a nuclear war would suck? Perhaps this will do the trick: Scientists are reviving the “nuclear winter” fears of the 1980s, portending that even a small, regional nuke kerfuffle could trigger a devastating global cooling. Advanced computer models show that thick clouds from urban firestorms could rise into the upper atmosphere and block the sun’s rays for about a decade, destroying crops and killing tens of millions of people. Oh, and the ozone layer would experience significant shrinkage, too. In short, says researcher Richard Turco, “all hell would break loose.” About 40 countries have enough plutonium or uranium on hand to construct a decent nuclear arsenal — not that they would, right? “Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous potential environmental danger to the planet,” says researcher Alan Robock, dangerously. “They’re much more dangerous than global warming.” But nucular energy is a whole different kettle of … catastrophe. Wake us when it’s over.