We don't hear much about 'Nuclear Winter' since the Soviet Union collapsed and sold their arsenal to terrorists (though Newt Gingrich did harken back to 1984 by quoting his friend Bill Forstchen saying that the East coast blackouts were like what an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) would cause so VOTE REPUBLICAN) and Greenpeace has moved on to claiming that corn that needs no pesticides will doom the world, but a group of academics have managed to Madonna up the old nuclear winter concept; they have modernized it calling it War-Related Climate Change.
That's smart. Young people today would have to Google 'Nuclear Winter' whereas war-related climate change is perfectly intuitive. It's global warming, except caused by war and not American cars.
How will it happen? In a hypothetical nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. A three-person team used a nebulous numerical model for climate change and replaced CO2 with soot they estimate would be created by 100 nuclear bombs. You remember soot, right? It's the stuff the IPCC used to say could not possibly cause climate change. Well, now it does. See? Madonna! In their model the soot blocks some of the sunlight that would normally reach the Earth, leading to cooler temperatures, altered weather patterns, and shorter growing seasons.
The extrapolations from their model even led to the US midwest seeing corn yields 10 to 40 percent lower and soy yields down 2 to 20 percent. Why such a large, meaningless range? One of the creators has a PhD in geography so maybe he wrote the code.
Citation: Mutlu Özdoğan, Alan Robock and Christopher J. Kucharik, 'Impacts of a nuclear war in South Asia on soybean and maize production in the Midwest United States', Climatic Change, 22 June 2012 DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0518-1
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