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How Nuclear War’s Smoke Could Put Our Lives in Danger: New Study Explains

Studies have shown how nuclear war can cause a lot of trouble, but smoke from the resulting fires is even dangerous, as per new data.

Apparently, the smoke is triggering climate change that could last up to 15 years. That means the world’s food production and human health would be highly threatened.

Here is what you need to know.

Worrying New Data About Climate Change

A team of researchers from Rutgers University came across some worrying data about climate change triggered by nuclear war.

The team used a novel climate model in the new study, including nitric oxide emissions and aerosols. That was necessary to develop an intriguing simulation of the effects on surface UV light and ozone chemistry triggered by the absorption of sunlight by smoke from global and regional nuclear wars.


Researchers discovered some intriguing yet shocking new data:

  • a regional nuclear war between Pakistan and India would mean 5 megatons of smoke; the UV light would start within a year
  • a global nuclear war between Russia and the US would mean up to 150 megatons; the UV light would begin after approx. 8 years

And that’s not all.

Researchers found that heating in the stratosphere and other factors would trigger a 15 year-long decline in the ozone column for a global nuclear war. That indicates a peak loss of 75 % globally + 65 % in the tropics.

If you’re wondering how much is that actually, you should know that it is, in fact, more significant than predictions from the 80s. Studies back then didn’t include the effects of smoke.

“[…] we have calculated how agriculture would change based on the changes of temperature, rain and sunlight, but have not yet included the effects of ultraviolet light; [that] would damage animals, including us, increasing cancer and cataracts,” explained Prof. Alan Robock, one of the study’s authors.

Researchers urge people to support their work and raise awareness about the case.