Even a small nuclear exchange could ignite mega-firestorms and wreck the planet’s atmosphere.
New climatological simulations show 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs — relatively small warheads, compared to the arsenals military superpowers stow today — detonated between neighboring countries would destroy more than a quarter of the Earth’s ozone layer in about 2 years.
Regions closer to the poles would see even more precipitous drops in the protective gas, which absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. New York and Sydney, for example, would see declines rivaling the perpetual hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. And it may take more than 6 years for the ozone layer to reach half of its former levels.
Researchers described the results during a panel Feb. 18 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, calling it “a real bummer” that such a localized nuclear war could bring the modern world to its knees.”
Global nuclear holocaust would be “a real bummer” - understatement of the still-young decade?