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Climate and Smoke: An Appraisal of Nuclear Winter
 

Summary: Climate and Smoke: An Appraisal
of Nuclear Winter
R. P. TURCO, 0. B. TOON, T. P. AcKERMAN, J. B. POLLACK, C. SAGAN
The latest understanding of nuclear winter is reviewed.
Considerable progress has been made in quantifying the
production and injection of soot by large-scale fires, the
regional and global atmospheric dispersion of the soot,
and the resulting physical, environmental, and climatic
perturbations. New information has been obtained from
laboratory studies, field experiments, and numerical mod-
eling on a variety ofscales (plume, mesoscale, and global).
For the most likely soot injections from a fill-scale
nuclear exchange, three-dimensional climate simulations
yield midsummer land temperature decreases that average
100 to 20C in northern mid-latitudes, with local cooling
as large as 35C, and subfreezing summer temperatures in
some regions. Anomalous atmospheric circulations
caused by solar heating of soot is found to stabilize the
upper atmosphere against overturning, thus increasing
the soot lifetime, and to accelerate interhemispheric trans-

  

Source: Ackerman, Thomas P. - Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington at Seattle

 

Collections: Geosciences; Environmental Sciences and Ecology