Thursday, December 14, 2006

Global Cooling

Exactly one year ago, I visited Waterloo for the first time. I was standing in snow knee-deep, and the outside temperature was -15 C. Yesterday, when I went to work, the thermometer showed 8 C. How could I not be interested in climate change?! Here's what I read yesterday:

If you follow the news above, you'll see how the content gets gradually diminished. None of the articles above links to the actual meeting, nor do they properly reference the original paper they are talking about (the first one does at least mention the title and the journal). If you are interested, here is

The website of the AGU 2006 Fall meeting

And here is the original paper:

Climatic consequences of regional nuclear conflicts
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 11817-11843, 2006

A. Robock, L. Oman, G. L. Stenchikov, O. B. Toon, C. Bardeen, R. P. Turco

We use a modern climate model and new estimates of smoke generated by fires in contemporary cities to calculate the response of the climate system to a regional nuclear war between emerging third world nuclear powers using 100 Hiroshima-size bombs (less than 0.03% of the explosive yield of the current global nuclear arsenal) on cities in the subtropics. We find significant cooling and reductions of precipitation lasting years, which would impact the global food supply. The climate changes are large and long-lasting because the fuel loadings in modern cities are quite high and the subtropical solar insolation heats the resulting smoke cloud and lofts it into the high stratosphere, where removal mechanisms are slow. While the climate changes are less dramatic than found in previous "nuclear winter'' simulations of a massive nuclear exchange between the superpowers, because less smoke is emitted, the changes are more long-lasting because the older models did not adequately represent the stratospheric plume rise.



  1. Gulf War I's immense prolonged atmospheric input of oily soot from Saddam's burning oil wells (lit to nullify IR imaging and targeting) had zero local and global effects. Local health effects: zero. Saddam pumped the world's largest oil spill into a "fragile and endangered ecological preserve" to blunt a (non-existent) US Marine landing. Unlike Exxon Valdez' multi-$billion Official chaos, zero effect.

    It's all lies. There is no anthropogenic component to Global Warming. The Ozone Hole is a permanent Antarctic fixture dating back to pre-history. The Carbon Tax on Everything will solve nothing. Pumping gigatonnes of CO2 into deep hot saline aquifers is insanity - the grains are cemented by carbonates that will dissolve.

    A modest nuclear conflict every half-century or so is useful to remind idiot Heads of State like Bush the Lesser that planetary-scale stupidity cannot be exercised without incurring personal liability. Try El Ultimo Presidente and his blackshirts for war crimes, at The Hague.

  2. Taxing as punishment never works when there's no alternative. The loosers are those who can't afford an ecological conscience. I've had a friend who came to estimate whether it would cost him more money to ride by bike and risk eating more noodles in the evening, or to take the car and paying the fuel.

    Yeah, I'd also recommend a well organized nuclear war every now and then to clean up with ugly suburbs, maybe a really contagious disease every century, to erase all the weak, sick and poor and push the economy -- and while we're at it, why don't we take all the unemployed, put them on home-trainers and let them generate watts after watts, so the rich and beautiful can keep on bloggin?



  3. Bee, I think what is really frightening is that people in the Pentagon and US president's would still justify strategic nuclear (pre-emptive) strikes on 'enemies' namely prejudiced by race (arab? states: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan) or politics (North korea).

    The truth is that if the US were to promote Nuclear Power worlwide, neither Britain or the US would need nuclear weapons - with total air superiority they could just strike their nuclear plants (periodically say every ten or 20 years) and keep them impoverished as they have done with IRAQ.

    The truth is that there is no real missile or nuclear threat to the US or Britain from anyone but Russia - nor is there likely to be.

    After all if any country had a missile that could reach Britain or the East Coast of the US - it would not need a nuclear pay load. Just aim for a nuclear power plant.
    And since the US has total air superiority any talk of threat to the US is nothing more than more LIES.

    However the one comforting thought is that if the US were to use nuclear weapons (100 times more powerful than Nagasaki or Hiroshima) anywhere on Earth, the prevailing winds would carry the nuclear fall out straight back into their faces.

    The real likelihood of nuclear conflict would be between India & Pakistan - but maybe the US would like that to actually happen, you know to reduce population.

    And funny how China & Japan were not overly concerned about N Korea and nuclear weapons - only Bush & Condolleza seemed to go on and on about it, and people just stopped listening to their trash.

    However it has not gone unnoticed that nuclear tipped warheads were used to toast (or fry) 100,000 retreating Iraqi troops on the road to Basra in World War I.
    There is one nation who would consider turning their neighbour into a nuclear wasteland - and not hesitate claining or occupying the land as a valuable piece of real estate several decades down the line (down the road)

    How long were Nagasaki & hiroshima radioactive - Both populous and thriving cities 61 years on.

  4. Quasar9, You're very much mistaken about Japan not being concerned with N.Korea having nuclear capability. The impression I get from watching Japanese news (being half Japanese we get those channels) is that Japan is terrified by the possibility. News reports about N.Korea and the test missiles they shoot at Japan are in Japanese news reports constantly.

    I can't imagine anyone in the US being a proponent of nuclear warfare. Quite the opposite, those of us who grew up in the cold war are terrified of the possibility. Certain groups are perceived by Americans as being fanatical, irrational, and full of blind hatred. I'm thinking of nations that conduct genocide on their own people to support some rigid view of the world.

    Now don't get me wrong, I think it's fine for people to believe any religious or political doctrine they like. But I don't think it's right to force those views on others and limit a person's right to free thought and speech. And I certainly don't think it's right to torture and hurt those that disagree.

    When stories about regimes that do those things trickle down to us, our perception is naturally that the leaders of these countries have a screw loose. If they'll conduct atrocities on their own people, given the opportunity they'll do the same to us. No way can we be in favor of putting nuclear capability into hands like those.


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