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View Full Version : Nuclear Winter - Fact or Fiction???


notmyC150v2
19th Aug 2008, 07:53
When I was in high school a few / several / ok, lots of years ago, we were told that if there was nuclear war the earth would be enveloped in a permanent winter with no sun resulting in the eventual death of all inhabitants.

Now it was also the accepted knowledge of the time that green house gases were destroying the ozone layer and we would all be dying of skin cancer by 1999 if we did not immediately turn of the air conditioners for ever.

As it turns out the hole in the ozone layer is apparently healed (never hear about it any more) or at least not seen as an issue and I have not yet been diagnosed with skin cancer. There is also strong evidence that global warming is a furfy as well.

The questions then are, would nuclear war be the end of the earth after all? Were we just fed a bunch of fear peddling drivel? Should we be concerned about this anymore?

After all Hiroshima is still alive and kicking (albeit with a few extra limbs:E) and Nagasaki is growing plants again so is there all that much to worry about if Iran and Isreal decide to go to it? (Environmentally speaking of course).

ZH875
19th Aug 2008, 08:21
Weren't we supposed to suffer something similiar from all the smoke from the oil fires Sadam's army lit in Kuwait, also mass pollution of the sea in that area.

No dark cold earth, and the sea has thrived due to oil eating bacteria being plentiful to feed other species.

IMHO, Scientists have to keep making wild guesses to justify their own existence, and constantly contradict themselves and change their minds. Maybe one day one of them will have a good guess and get something right.

Wod
19th Aug 2008, 09:33
You young whippersnippers need guidance.

Nuclear Winter in my day assumed that all the nukes in the Northern Hemisphere ( USA, USSR, UK, France, China ) hit their targets and went boom more or less simultaneously.

So Ava Gardner went to Melbourne to film "On the beach" and declared it a splendid place to be making a film about the end of the world as we know it.

It's all in the assumptions I guess.

BlueWolf
19th Aug 2008, 10:05
Who cares?

If a nuclear winter can happen, it will, that being human nature; so we're fecked, and there's nothing we can do about it.

If it can't, there's nothing to worry about.

Don't stress. Party.
;)

Sunray Minor
19th Aug 2008, 10:51
As it turns out the hole in the ozone layer is apparently healed (never hear about it any more) or at least not seen as an issue and I have not yet been diagnosed with skin cancer.

Errr, CFCs are directly implicated in polar ozone depletation, leading to increased UV penetration and with it increased skin cancer rates. CFC usage in every country affects the ozone layer, which in turned affects the countries closest to the south pole - NZ, Aus, Chile, Argentina South Africa, which already suffer high malanoma rates.

The CFC ban will not be noticed immediated (taking a decade or two to filter in to the upper atmosphere) but will have a direct bearing on the ozone hole and therefore most likely the skin cancer rates of the above mentioned countries.

Ozone depletion is real, the solution is real and the implications of doing nothing about it are real - even if they don't affect those living in the northern hemisphere.

I take it the scientists telling us that deforestation and depletion of fish stocks are also scare-mongering?

BlueWolf
19th Aug 2008, 12:32
Errr, CFCs are directly implicated in polar ozone depletation, leading to increased UV penetration and with it increased skin cancer rates. CFC usage in every country affects the ozone layer, which in turned affects the countries closest to the south pole - NZ, Aus, Chile, Argentina South Africa, which already suffer high malanoma rates.

The CFC ban will not be noticed immediated (taking a decade or two to filter in to the upper atmosphere) but will have a direct bearing on the ozone hole and therefore most likely the skin cancer rates of the above mentioned countries.

Ozone depletion is real, the solution is real and the implications of doing nothing about it are real - even if they don't affect those living in the northern hemisphere.

Maybe. It is true that chlorine and bromine act as catalysts in the destruction of ozone; but these elements are dissociated from their source halons and freons by the same solar ultraviolet radiation which both creates and destroys ozone itself, depending on the level of such radiation being emitted by the sun at any given time, which, as with everything to do with the Big Yellow, is far from consistent. CFCs in the miniscule amounts produced by man may, or may not, have had anything to do with ozone depletion. The Antarctic ozone hole was first looked for, and recorded, in 1956, and it may have been coming and going cyclically for millennia. The truth is that we don't know. I think it fair to say that conjecture and panic probably play as big a part in Ozone Hole Theory as they do in any contemporary cause of fashionable Green "Science".

Can't find it now, but there was documentation on this very site, no more than a few months back, linking to mainstream press reports which concluded gravely that Blue Cod would be gone from the North Sea by 1970 because of overfishing.

And head-bangingly enough, in New Zealand at least, the still-current obsession with carbon emmissions has led to this country experiencing a net loss of forest cover for the first time in eighty years, as forest owners move to liquidate their assests ahead of a trading scheme which will deny them the benefit of "their" credits. :ugh:

ORAC
19th Aug 2008, 12:37
Oh yeah, I remember, we phased out CFCs and replaced them with HFCs to save the ozone layer; just a pity about global warming (http://w.evomarkets.com/pdf_documents/HFC-23%20Carbon%20Credits.pdf)..... :O

arcniz
19th Aug 2008, 21:12
One was a part-time editor for a science journal during much of the 70's. From that vantage, one could often see news being "manufactured"" as waves of press releases propogated through various press channels and reverberated for months and years afterward as they filtered out to the margins of the process.

During that time one watched the first stirrings, movement and finally the wave of acceptance, excitement, and urgency wrapped around the thinning upper atmosphere stories, and developed an impression that the Ozone Depletion phenomenon came equipped with far more more than the ordinary number of legs possessed by ideas that someone wishes to see promoted.

Some data-points of the era were:

a) NASA was in the throes of a "decade without a mission" (overstated, of course) because the first wave of local space exploration ended with the booming 60's and the Space Shuttle program, though funded, was not scheduled to produce anything operational until around 1980. Various other satellite and research programs and projects were underway, of course, but these generally did not have the political mass appeal -- to justify the VERY large budgets NASA was burning through. In short, they had a public relations problem of a major sort, especially after about 1975.

For NASA, the Ozone hole problem was a godsend. It gave them purpose and a patina of panache as well, to be there as a resource for solving extra-terrestrial and eventually galactic problems. Made it much easier for the politicians to keep them funded.

b) One noted that, during the latter 70's, it was virtually impossible to get ANY sort of University research funded by the US Federal government without at least a token reference to Ozone Depletion and why that was bad and why studying butterfly gonads would surely contribute to the solution of the problem.

A similar phenomenon exists presently in relation to "Climate Change" and/or "Global Warming", (one or the other depending on political color of the funding source.)

c) DuPont chemical, producer of Freon, has long been a successful "beltway bandit"... probably tracing roots back somehow to the early days of the revolution against the Imperial Brits. Lots of complexity in the interrelation between munitions manufacture, politics, science, and atmospherics - which one incompletely know and so will not describe. Suffice it to say, well connected DuPont fared relatively well from the process which wiped out one of its signature product brands and required replacing every use of it with .... another of its signature brands.

To sum it up -- powerful unseen forces are at work on earth as well as in the sky. Most of the terrestrial ones somehow involve the ecology of money.

notmyC150v2
20th Aug 2008, 00:06
Wod,

I agree with you on the assumptions. I guess what I was thinking (but unhelpfully not writing in my post) was that a nuclear strike by one country would result in the eventual involvement and retaliation from all nuclear armed countries. That was what we were taught anyway, that no matter who starts it, all countries would end up involved in it.

Thus, we would have the assumed total nuclear war which would allegedly cause the questioned nuclear winter.

P.s. gorgeous day to be in Brissy. What's it like on the bay today???

ShyTorque
20th Aug 2008, 00:23
I had the answer. I suggested they healed the hole in the ozone layer by using ozone as a propellant in aerosol cans; but they never did.

Thanks, arcniz.

Now I know that NASA needed a hole there, it all makes sense. :rolleyes:

Ogre
20th Aug 2008, 04:23
Channel 4 in the UK showed a nice documentary about how the whole global warming thing was allegedly scare mongering, and pointed out many interesting connections including the fact that back in the 70's we were heading for a second ice age! (wonder where that went). Overall the weather in the world has been going on longer that humans have been around, and that records have only been kept for a fraction of that time!

Mind you there is a tv advert going around here in downunderland, which starts off explaining that the three biggest producers of green house gases are 1) tranport, 2) Industry, and 3) livestock. At this point you would expect it to be another reminder to leave your gas guzzler at home and walk to work, but no. The advert goes on to extoll the virtues of being vegitarian - Less meat eaters = less cows = less greenhouse gas = better planet. You have to admire whoever thought of that one, but it will never be a rallying cry in the land of the midnight barbie......

galvonager
20th Aug 2008, 06:40
Nuclear winter is nothing to sneeze at. Here (http://www.eoearth.org/article/Nuclear_winter) is the latest research simulation, by some of the authors of the original theory. Interesting read (and watch).

OFSO
20th Aug 2008, 14:58
What a load of crap. The hole in the ozone layer is still there, residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still experiencing a higher rate of birth defects, and I have skin cancer (a mild form, fortunately).

However all of these problems will go somewhere else when the LHC is switched on in three weeks time - or if they don't go away, we will - so no need to worry about it.

R