May 242012

This is one of a series of articles being produced by Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). You can read further articles in both past and future editions of Aberdeen Voice. With thanks to Jonathan Russell.

Western and Soviet scientists in the 1980s exchanged information on the effects of the use of Nuclear Weapons on climate.

Their findings were that:

  • Nuclear explosions would send massive clouds into the astrosphere blocking so much sunlight that a nuclear winter would result.
  • Global temperatures would plunge 20 to 40 degrees centigrade for several months and remain 2-6 degrees centigrade lower for 1-3 years.
  • Up to 70% of the earth’s stratospheric ozone layer would be destroyed allowing huge doses of ultra-violet light to reach the earth’s surface.
  • The UV light would kill much of the marine life that forms the basis of the food chain – it would also blind animals and humans.
  • The cold and dust would create widespread crop failures and global famine.

More recent research in the United States, based on a sophisticated atmospheric oceanic climate model that had an excellent track record of simulating the cooling effects of past volcanic eruptions, concluded that the 1980s predictions of nuclear weapon winter effects were if anything underestimates.

Furthermore, even limited nuclear war poses a significant threat to the earth’s climate. This would further have an effect on climate change capable of causing economic chaos.

The problems of climate change are already evident. The International Energy Agency projects that unless societies build alternatives to carbon-emitting energy technologies over the next five years, the world is doomed to harsher weather, drought, famine, water scarcity, rising sea levels – leading to the loss of island nations and many coastal areas.

The use of Nuclear Weapons would make this possibility, if we’re foolish enough to continue along the nuclear road, even more of a threat to human and animal life.

Aberdeen and District CND have monthly meetings held at 7.30pm on the second Monday of each month on the top floor of the Belmont Cinema, Belmont Street, Aberdeen.