Now nearly 40 years behind us, the era of above-ground nuclear bomb tests (1945 to 1980) has been described more than once as a very long, drawn-out nuclear war.
Indeed, with 521-529 above-ground detonations (numbers vary based on data sources used), that represents a sizable chunk of the present world nuclear arsenal.
Over just 36 years, 500-1000 megatons (TNT equivalent) of energy was released into the atmosphere. Billions of tons of air was irradiated. Millions of tons of dirt (and other things) were atomized (pun intended) and thrown into the atmosphere. Millions of tons of gases were also released.
Starting a few years after the above-ground testing started, underground testing (still going on in places like North Korea), released hundreds of megatons of energy into the earth’s rock and soil.
During (and following) that era, various scientists postulated a “nuclear winter” which would follow a nuclear war, due to the soot (ash) and dust kicked high into the atmosphere and remaining there for some time, blocking sunlight from reaching the lower atmosphere and the surface, plunging temperatures around the world for years, perhaps decades.
This was based on the impact of the firestorms following the conventional bombing of places like Tokyo and Dresden, and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (These released particles and gases, especially carbon dioxide and sulfur oxides, into the atmosphere.) Their hypothesis was also based on the known effects of volcanic eruptions. Krakatoa (1883). Krakatoa, with a Volcanic Explosion Index number of 6, was estimated to be the equivalent of a 200 megaton nuclear bomb, and threw an estimated 11 cubic miles of solids into the atmosphere. Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991, with a similar intensity (VEI 6). Tambora, in 1815, the largest volcanic explosion in modern history, was a VEI 7, estimated at 2000 megatons. The reduction in global temperatures (5-10 degrees F claimed for Tambora, 2.2 F after Krakatoa and 1-2 F after Pinatubo) argued for a similar result from large numbers of nuclear explosions. (All 521 above-ground bomb tests amounted to less than than one-quarter of that 1815 explosion).
In addition, volcanoes like these, occurring on small islands, threw more millions of tons of water into the atmosphere, much as vapor and aerosols. Dust and gases (especially sulfur dioxides and carbon dioxide) and water vapor remained in the atmosphere for years.
Since then, eruptions like Mount Saint Helens (VEI 5, 20 megatons) and the more recent Icelandic eruptions, have given more data to use to model the potential for a nuclear winter. Recent discoveries of such things as the volcanic eruptions in Iceland in AD 536 and following years have provided much more information on the impact of volcanoes (and therefore, of nuclear explosions and meteor impacts) on climate. And of course, there are hundreds of smaller eruptions each decade, around the world. We are told that a VEI 7 happens, on average, once a century: smaller ones are much more frequent, even daily.
In the last few years, a few media have compared nuclear winter with the current hysteria of manmade global warming, and some have even suggested that a modest nuclear exchange (or multinational effort) in which a hundred or so nuclear warheads were detonated in some suitable desert area would “combat” supposed “manmade global warming” – or at least buy time to implement the draconian reversal of technology they claim is necessary to “save the earth.” (Such geoengineering is, indeed, as insane as this particular proposal sounds.)
Of course, the entire concept of nuclear winter may be as suspect as manmade global warming is – the concept was invented and popularized by scientists who were trying to prevent nuclear war. So it may be “political science.” There are many scientists and researchers who reject the entire idea, and especially the claimed severity, pointing out that along with the massive debris cloud blown into the upper atmosphere there are also large quantities of greenhouse gases. So there may be a natural balancing possible even with nuclear weapons. Just as there seems to be with volcanic explosions.
But I find it curious that none of the climate change alarmists seem to have taken into account three and a half decades of low-level “nuclear war” – much less volcanoes – on the warming (or cooling) of the earth that has everyone running so scared. And has taken away the childhood of “Saint Greta” among others. The infamous hockeystick chart, for example, seems to have no spikes (or dips) for nuclear testing or for volcanic explosions. Even though evidence has been found for such worldwide spikes both in recorded history and in the records of tree rings and glacial deposits and seabed deposition.
Could it be that they want to ignore things that appear intended mostly to increase the power of government over people’s lives?
Something to think about…