HuffPo has horrible science coverage. It’s a hotbed of anti-vax conspiracies and other woo. This article has to take the cake, though.
Scientists from NASA and a number of other institutions have recently been modeling the effects of a war involving a hundred Hiroshima-level bombs, or 0.03 percent of the world’s current nuclear arsenal, according to National Geographic. The research suggests five million metric tons of black carbon would be swept up into the lowest portion of the atmosphere.
The result, according to NASA climate models, could actually be global cooling.
From National Geographic:
In NASA climate models, this carbon then absorbed solar heat and, like a hot-air balloon, quickly lofted even higher, where the soot would take much longer to clear from the sky.
While the global cooling caused by superpower-on-superpower war could be catastrophic (hence the term “nuclear winter”) a small scale war could have an impact on the world climate, says National Geographic. Models suggest that though the world is currently in a warming trend, small-scale war could lower global temperatures 2.25 degrees F for two-to-three years following war.
Geoengineering is actually talked about fairly seriously in some circles. (Think of the period of the 70s relative short period of a slowdown in global warming – the aerosol effect) Most talk about more benign ways to geoengineer than nuclear weapons (nuclear winter is a well-known concept) like sulfate aerosols. I’ve always put this geoengineering idea in the bucket “you’re most comfortable with things you know the least about.” I don’t think it’s a good idea and I think geoengineering without reducing CO2 could have unintended bad consequences.
My favorite part is the end of the article.
The cons seem to outweigh the pros in the event of global cooling caused by even a small nuclear war.
Heh, no kidding.