A devastating nuclear war would also trigger a climate apocalypse, a new study has found, with any survivors having to battle both radiation and deadly ultraviolet light in the aftermath
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Nuclear war could destroy the world as the smoke created from the blast would destroy the ozone layer, a new study shows.
A climate apocalypse would be triggered after a nuclear winter would be replaced by a massive ultraviolet (UV) blast as the ozone-depleted atmosphere will let in unfiltered sunlight.
The findings show the devastating effects of a potential nuclear war that go beyond destroying the opponents to something even more sinister.
A study in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres discovered that chemical reactions in the earths atmosphere would impact how much ultraviolet (UV) radiation would reach the planet’s surface.
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The findings present an even darker picture of what the aftermath of a nuclear war would look like.
The study found that after an all-out nuclear war, smoke would destroy the ozone layer over a 15-year period, with the ozone layer reducing by 75 percent at worst.
Even after a regional nuclear war, there would be a peak ozone loss of 25 percent globally.
This would be catastrophic as the ozone layer protects the Earth’s from harmful UV radiation, and if we lose that layer, humans and the environment will be destroyed.
The lead author of this study, Dr Charles Bardeen, said: “In addition to all the fatalities that would happen almost immediately, the climate effects and the UV effects would be widespread.
“These aren’t local to where the war occurs. They’re global, so they would affect all of us.”
As it is, UV radiation can cause certain types of skin cancer, cataracts, and immunological disorders, and that is with an ozone layer that is largely in-tact.
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Alan Robock, who co-authored the study said: “Although we suspected that ozone would be destroyed after nuclear war and that would result in enhanced ultraviolet light at the Earth’s surface.
“If there was too much smoke, it would block out the ultraviolet light.
“Now, for the first time, we have calculated how this would work and quantified how it would depend on the amount of smoke.”
Scientists in history have conducted a number of studies in attempts to understand how a nuclear war would affect the planet.
In the 1980s, scientists found that the smoke created by a nuclear war would cool the planet by blocking out sunlight, creating a “nuclear winter”.
It was found that nuclear war would destroy the ozone layer due to the chemicals produced from blast.
Further research discovered that that the smoke would cause the ozone to be destroyed by heating the atmosphere.
For the first time ever, this new study has found that in the event of a global nuclear war, a massive injection of smoke into the atmosphere would initially cool surface temperatures by blocking out sunlight.
The smoke will also erode the ozone layer protecting the planet.
Over a few years, things will worsen and the smoke would begin to disappear, allowing UV radiation hit the surface of earth through the diminished ozone layer.
Dr Bardeen explained: “Conditions would switch dramatically, and adaptations that may work at first won’t help as temperatures warm back up and UV radiation increases.
“Just as the smoke is clearing up, you would get this blast of UV with completely different impacts on human health and agriculture.”