silversocks012
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Currently working on an EPQ about nuclear winter. With all about North Korea in the news it is somewhat disturbing - I find it very saddening that this risk is being taken. The world is wonderful and so fragile. Any thoughts?
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by Spider&TheFly)
Currently working on an EPQ about nuclear winter. With all about North Korea in the news it is somewhat disturbing - I find it very saddening that this risk is being taken. The world is wonderful and so fragile. Any thoughts?
There's a book called Global Catastrophic Risk which has chapters on nuclear war and nuclear terrorism as catastrophic risks which you may want to have a look at if you can find a copy.
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silversocks012
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
There's a book called Global Catastrophic Risk which has chapters on nuclear war and nuclear terrorism as catastrophic risks which you may want to have a look at if you can find a copy.
Sounds good although I need to know more about the specifics of it, I have a few books written by some of the research groups in the 1980s, which are pretty good! One of my favourites is The Cold and The Dark by Paul R. Ehrlich and Carl Sagan
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Plagioclase
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It's a collection of good synthesis essays on various potential global catastrophic risks, including nuclear risks. The section on nuclear risks isn't too long (but is fully referenced if I recall correctly so good for further research). Great book in general, one of the most interesting non-fiction books I've read. Could be really interesting maybe for your EPQ's evaluation to put nuclear war into context with other global risks.
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silversocks012
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
It's a collection of good synthesis essays on various potential global catastrophic risks, including nuclear risks. The section on nuclear risks isn't too long (but is fully referenced if I recall correctly so good for further research). Great book in general, one of the most interesting non-fiction books I've read. Could be really interesting maybe for your EPQ's evaluation to put nuclear war into context with other global risks.
Really? I must check that out. Thanks very much
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MagicNMedicine
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These climate effects happen anyway, regardless of man made actions, they have happened before when asteroids have hit.

But no doubt if there is global nuclear war and the world cools a few degrees the left would use it for their own anti-nuclear weapons agenda.
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silversocks012
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You clearly don't know what you are talking about!
After a nuclear war, there will be no left wingers and right wingers left, because of a breakdown in society.
The Earth will cool more than 'a few degrees' on account of the sun being blocked out by vast quantities of smoke and dust particles distributed around the whole world (changes to the atmosphere caused by heating will cause air around the Northern and Southern Hemisphere to mix) - because these particles absorb infrared radiation while not preventing any warmth from the Earth's surface being radiated back out to space. The darkness will prevent plants from photosynthesising = no primary production = no food. Up to 1 billion people will be killed by the blast or subseqent fires, many survivors will die after exposure to dangerous levels of radiation, UV-B (depletion of the ozone layer caused by the nuclear explosions), with complete lack of medical assistance.
The worst-case scenario means quite literally, the end of the world and the extinction of the human species.
This is based on facts from experts in research.
Don't make the mistake of thinking it will be the same as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If a war using just 1% of the world's nuclear weapons stock in 1985 took place, this would be equivalent to 8200 Hiroshimas.
Detonation of a nuclear weapon in a war situation to attack another county is quite simply, suicide.
I won't bother with putting any more because you probably won't read it anyway.
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TheGreatPumpkin
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(Original post by Spider&TheFly)
Currently working on an EPQ about nuclear winter. With all about North Korea in the news it is somewhat disturbing - I find it very saddening that this risk is being taken. The world is wonderful and so fragile. Any thoughts?
Do you want to build a (radioactive) snowman?
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Drewski
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(Original post by Spider&TheFly)
Detonation of a nuclear weapon is quite simply, suicide.
This is not opinion, it is a fact.
Well no, it isn't.

There have been in excess of two thousand nuclear detonations since 1945. The world is still here.
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silversocks012
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(Original post by Drewski)
Well no, it isn't.

There have been in excess of two thousand nuclear detonations since 1945. The world is still here.
I do apologise and have edited the post - that was very badly phrased!
It is precisely the detonation of a nuclear bomb in a war situation that has such catastrophic effects because the ground surface will be vaporised using a ground burst sending huge amounts of soil into the atmostphere. Entire cities will burn and with no means of extinguising them, these fires will spread to areas such as grasslands and forests. It is these fires that generate the black sooty smoke that blocks out the sunlight.
(Apart from the issue that if you bomb another country, if they possess nuclear weapons then another one might be sent your way)
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Drewski
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(Original post by Spider&TheFly)
I do apologise and have edited the post - that was very badly phrased!
It is precisely the detonation of a nuclear bomb in a war situation that has such catastrophic effects because the ground surface will be vaporised using a ground burst sending huge amounts of soil into the atmostphere. Entire cities will burn and with no means of extinguising them, these fires will spread to areas such as grasslands and forests. It is these fires that generate the black sooty smoke that blocks out the sunlight.
(Apart from the issue that if you bomb another country, if they possess nuclear weapons then another one might be sent your way)
Well, again, that can be argued against, as the only time it's happened the country doing the bombing not only didn't die, but won and became the pre-eminent power on the globe.

What you're asserting is the well reasoned speculation that any such attack these days would have those consequences. However, nobody can say for certain that's what would happen.
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silversocks012
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(Original post by Drewski)
Well, again, that can be argued against, as the only time it's happened the country doing the bombing not only didn't die, but won and became the pre-eminent power on the globe.

What you're asserting is the well reasoned speculation that any such attack these days would have those consequences. However, nobody can say for certain that's what would happen.

Yesssss BUT the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were about 26 times less powerful than the average modern nuclear missile, although these figures are very rough because there are many different types.
Also in modern times, there are vastly more nuclear weapons in existence. As I said above, if a nuclear war had taken place in 1985 using just 1% of nuclear weapons in the whole world, this would be equivalent to 8200 Hiroshimas. So there's no comparison really!
Of course nobody can say for absolute certain (how's about a pilot study anyone?!) but I've read the books, and consider the authors who carried out the research the most well qualified to make a judgement in the matter.
I recommend you read the books.


  1. 1. Harwell, M. (1986). Nuclear winter. New York: Springer-Verlag
  2. 2. Greene, O., Percival, I. and Ridge, I. (1986). Nuclear winter. Cambridge: Polity
  3. 3. Peterson, J., Hinrichsen, D. and Dampier, B. (1983). Nuclear war. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
  4. 4. Gontarev, B. and Velikhov, E. (1985). The Night after-- scientists' warning. Moscow: Mir Publishers, pp.1-30.
  5. 5. Davis, RW 2016, 'Nuclear Winter', Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Science, Research Starters, EBSCOhost, viewed 2 September 2017.
  6. 6. Ehrlich, P. and Sagan,C. (1985). The cold and the dark. New York: W. W. Norton & Comp.
  7. 7. Dotto, L. (1986). Planet earth in Jeopardy. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Sorry for the numbers being there twice!
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Dysf(x)al
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(Original post by Drewski)
Well no, it isn't.

There have been in excess of two thousand nuclear detonations since 1945. The world is still here.
2,000 across 70 years. In a nuclear war, it would be in a much shorter space of time. And a nuclear test is designed to minimize ground damage, whereas in a war it would maximise damage which releases the material that blocks the sun.

The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa did cause a small amount of global cooling that year (about 1 degree I think), and that was just 190 megatonnes. The global nuclear arsenal is far larger than that.
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motheryucker
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There's a weird film series... Based in Sheffield, I forgot what it's called but I remember it being deep as ****. It was to do with what would happen after a nuclear attack.... I don't know... Could help you
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silversocks012
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(Original post by motheryucker)
There's a weird film series... Based in Sheffield, I forgot what it's called but I remember it being deep as ****. It was to do with what would happen after a nuclear attack.... I don't know... Could help you
I've googled that - is it called Threads?
thanks!
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motheryucker
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(Original post by Spider&TheFly)
I've googled that - is it called Threads?
thanks!
That's the one👍
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