NASA Scientists have tested the climate effect of what a small, regional nuclear war would do to the world and have come up with a few revealing (and quite scary) conclusions. For the purpose of the exercise, NASA termed a small, regional nuclear war as 100 Hiroshima-level bombs.
What's interesting is that the exploded bombs would kick up roughly five million metric tons of black carbon into the upper part of the troposphere and lead to a drop in temperature, which technically reverses that global warming thing Al Gore always talks about.
After a regional nuclear war, though, average global temperatures would drop by 2.25 degrees F (1.25 degrees C) for two to three years afterward, the models suggest.
Hey, that actually doesn't sound so bad! But then there's the downside of that drop in temperature. NASA says:
"Our results suggest that agriculture could be severely impacted, especially in areas that are susceptible to late-spring and early-fall frosts. Examples similar to the crop failures and famines experienced following the Mount Tambora eruption in 1815 could be widespread and last several years"
That volcano eruption led to "the year without summer", which led to famine. No summer? That doesn't sound good at all. Let's hope that even these "small and regional" nuclear wars never happen so we never have to find out if NASA is right. [National Geographic]