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Nuclear winter

  1. snowball earth

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. short radiation period and then its over

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. no humans left to worry about it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. other

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Nov 27, 2003 #1
    after anuclear war as most know a nuclear winter will ensue. many people dont know however most dot know that this will cause a snowball earth with the entire planets surface covered in snow and until another million or so years the atmospheres gasses wont trap enough heat to melt the snow but due to the fact that volcanoes release carbon dioxide this will eventually trap enough heat to melt enough of the snow so that the earths reflection of heat is overpowered by its gathering of heat and the ice age would end.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2003 #2

    LURCH

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    Voted "other", because I think the million-year ice age model does not take into account the fact that the cloud that causes the nuclear winter will be largely composed of CO2 from the global firestorms. That winter will, I think, last a full year or two depending on which hemisphere you live in. After that, greenhousing would melt the snow quickly, and temps would go higher than current averages.

    The real problems after that would be radiation, which I don't think would be a brief problem at all, lack of food, and lack of O2, because the fires would use up most of the oxygen from the atmosphere, after which the prolonged winter would starve most plant-life and bring photosynthesis to a near stand-still.
     
  4. Nov 27, 2003 #3

    Nereid

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    The snowball (and devil) is in the details

    I too voted 'other'. Without a more detailed description of what the nuclear war is, it's impossible to estimate what the nature and extent of the nuclear winter would be. For example, if it were 'merely' a limited exchange between Pakistan and India (yes, that's horrific enough, up to a billion people could die), the subsequent 'nuclear winter' would be very different from that which would follow from a global war involving all nuclear powers, and with bombs detonated in thousands of locations in hundreds of countries. Similarly, the time of year matters a great deal, as does the extent to which tropical and temperate forests are consumed by firestorms (if the bombs were limited to major cities, there may be few such firestorms).
     
  5. Nov 28, 2003 #4

    selfAdjoint

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    Dearly Missed

    I'm an "other" voter too. The original nuclear winter was based on something like 150 hydrogen bombs (suitably distributed) all going off at once. This was only dimly plausible in the age of MAD, and it's definitely off the deep end now. I think a comet strike is more likely.
     
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