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back to article Solution found for climate change: Nuclear war

A solution has been found to those pesky climate change problems being caused by global warming: nuclear war. One minor niggle: "Widespread famine and disease would likely follow," even if the war were a small-scale one, writes Charles Choi for National Geographic News, describing the study conducted by scientists from NASA and …

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Paris Hilton

Since when does El Reg believe "the models"?

that is all.

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Wrong icon there

You shouldn't mix atom bombs and Paris Hilton.

It's all boom and bust.

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This post has been deleted by its author

I've been saying this for years.

A good, honest war is what the human race needs. Of course, that does mean that most of us will die from fission sandwich poisoning (including, most likely, myself) - but ask yourself this: Do you really want to be one of the few who survive this war? It's not exactly going to be like Butlins...

On the other hand, you can rest, safe in the knowledge that the human race will nevertheless survive - and won't be able to pose a major threat to its own existence for at least a few thousand years: Albert Einstein, at least, realised this in 1947 when he wrote "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

So cheer up! There is indeed reason to stop worrying and love the bomb.

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In this case it is probably believable...

The Russian paper which did an analysis of how the Climategate crowd "interpreted" their data for the ex-Soviet union had very interesting info on the WW2. Same trend can be seen in quite a few other papers as well.

Despite all weapons except Hiroshima and Nagasaki being conventional the amount of burning stuff clearly shows up on the climate data with the effects lingering up to the early 50-es.

That has not prevented people who need to show massive warming from keeping these data points in the curve (it makes a much more convincing argument if you start from a couple of degrees lower than you should).

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Dubious model

Cloud cover and CO2 keeps the heat in.Won't a layer of soot clouds do the same?

Ever noticed how it only gets really cold at night when it is a cloudles sky?

Seems like a broken model to me.

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HMB

Yeah you tell them!

You tell 'em Chales, those people with their stupid maths and science. Go anecdotes!

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Boffin

Think daytime

No, just think about what you wrote. The soot clouds do stop radiation at night there is no sunshine so there is no incoming radiation to stop so only the small amount of outgoing radiation is stopped.

However, during the day when there is considerable incoming radiation the soot clouds work as designed and they stop most of it. Just like the difference between a cloudy day and a sunny day.

Over time the earth will cool, simple just like what happens in an english summer after three weeks of cloudy weather. Bloody cold!

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Heart

Blastalicious kaboomability!

El Reg meets Schlock Mercenary!!

Top Stuff!

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I fail to see the problem...

"Widespread famine and disease would likely follow,"

Thereby also taking care of overpopulation and too many people after too few resources.

Genius!

<- Imagine a cowboy general riding on an H-bomb out of a bomb bay icon here.

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Grenade

Overpopulation?

Are you volunteering?

I do wish people wouldn't follow this rather psychotic thought chain.

Problem - "More people need more resources"

Does that mean we need to apply our minds to find a way of providing more resources?

Solution - "Nah just kill loads of people init!"

You do realise that 'You' are the people that 'They' are talking about right?

because I'm certain of it.....

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It was Major "King" Kong

Slim's character was a Major, not a general, if you were referring to the "iconic" symbol of him riding the nuke out of the weapons bay of his B-52. Still one of my favorite movie scenes...

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he was the very model of a suicidal gen... MAJOR!

I was and thanks for the correction. I suppose that ride sort of removed any chance of him every being promoted to general, as well.

As for the AC responder: while not going to the point of suicide, I did decide to remain child-free, so no offspring of mine will continue to use resources.

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Anonymous Coward

Just an additional thought....

The only constraint on human activity and growth is energy availability. We have the ingenuity - for good or ill - to make everything else. It may take us a while. The only thing that will stop humanity is a disease we can't control. And that could be a lot worse for the planet, overall.

While ever we continue use planetary stored energy - carbon based - we waste the primary source of this energy, the Sun. It is recognised that CO2 contributes to global warming and soot/atmospheric pollution more often than not to global cooling and has done since long before Adam was a lad...

A 'small war' would be unfortunate for many an unpleasant setback to human growth for the remnants.

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Flame

ha

Start with the middle-east..........

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HMB

Kaboomability

See I pretend to read the register for it's high brow, intellectual content, but really it's because you make words up like "Kaboomability",

I do like that word, but then they do say I'm easily amused.

Of course we could use nuclear power to end climate change, but no, that's far too damned *****ing obvious, and it gives us the willies. God forbid a technology gives us the willies.

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Pint

Quietly or Loudly?

Because I'm not quite sure exactly _how_ you are envisioning "nuclear power" being used, and your 'like' of 'Kaboomability' rather worries me...

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HMB

Don't worry

I too frequently mix up carbon free sustainable energy and global annihilation. It's a common problem.

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Coat

God hates

Teledildonics?

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Headmaster

Nuclear fission sustainable?

I'm playing devils advocate here, because I'm pro-nuclear, but I would suggest that the amount of fissionable material on Earth is limited just like any other earthbound energy resource.

This means that in the long term, you cannot use 'sustainable' in connection to nuclear.

The way I look at it is that the Earth has many energy resources, but because of entropy, they are all limited to one extent or another. Fossil fuels are stored energy from the Sun, nuclear fission is heavy elements (from the death of older stars) acquired during the formation of the Solar system), nuclear fusion is light elements probably from the formation of the Sun, wind and ocean currents are driven mainly by solar energy from the Sun, tide is gravitational (mainly from the Moon, and tidal drag is causing the Moon to slow down and approach the Earth so even this is finite), geothermal is (probably) natural nuclear fission (see above) combined with tidal effects from the moon, biofuels are capturing energy from the Sun and direct solar is (obviously) from the Sun.

So if you discount total matter conversion (and boy would that be useful), and fusion of hydrogen electrolysed from water (finite on Earth but lots of it), all energy except direct and indirect solar energy is limited. And the Sun won't last forever!

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You're not wrong, I say I say you're not wrong

That's why the only long-term solution is to build some space craft, get the hell off this crowded mudball, and start colonising the rest of the universe (sorry, Native Sirians, but you're first in the path of the human bulldozers).

C'mon people, it's not rocket science.

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If you're running long enough for the sun to burn out, then yes

everything is finite. But breeder reactors solve the problem of limited fissionable materials. They operation is pretty well documented I believe.

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Grenade

Nice to know...

Nice to know we have a back up plan :)

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Grenade

Over-consumption wars

I've said for some time that we will end up having wars not over resources, but to reduce over-consumption. E.g. drop atom bombs on the places with more gas-guzzling cars and air conditioning, like Midland, Texas or Florida. It is the only argument for an independent UK nuclear deterrent - the ability to bomb the USA.

Now there is an added benefit, a nuclear winter after killing the polluters.

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"...the ability to bomb the USA."

Nice thought, for the reasons given, but pointless on account of the fact that we wouldn't survive the payback. The country you were looking for is France - right next door, own nuclear capability and don't give a shit about anyone. Gotta keep up with them. Just in case.

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Badgers

Nuclear winter

And there it is - the phrase "nuclear winter"! I'm amazed that it wasn't even mentioned in the article. I thought the term had been bandied around ever since the Trinity tests, everyone already knows this is the consequence of a nuclear (ignoring the primary symptoms of instant death and/or radiation poisoning).

What was the point of this study exactly?...

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Payback ?

No problem, we'll just blame some brown people, the 'Merkins will easily buy that.

(We'll leave a Muslim guy's passport at Ground Zero as proof... hey, it worked last time !)

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Gates Horns

Re:Nuclear winter

"What was the point of this study exactly?..."

To prove that the risk model for outsourcing your data centre to india can be a bit more radical than moving it to Liverpool

Even if the indian have a higher average standard of spoken english

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Breaking News

Cure for the common cold, just add VX!

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Boffin

Boomalicious

There was a good article about this a couple of years back (google "The environmental consequences of nuclear war" www.physicstoday.org) with some wonderfully apocalyptic graphs of Numbers of casualties (units of 100 million) and Soot (in Teragrams).

The "nuclear war solves climate change" angle here is a bit spurious, since those of us that don't go up in smoke would just get a mini ice age for 5-10 years, then it would be back to warming as usual.

It's scary to think that even if no-one lets rip with the plutonium a big volcanic eruption could have much the same effect. (Or is it scarier to think that some tin-pot dictator with a nuclear button could cause as much global devastation as a massive volcano?).

Have a nice day.

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What's really terrifying?

The fact that someone managed to build and detonate a 50MT nuclear weapon - that stuff at the bottom of the article along with wikipedia details on the Tsar Bomba? That's nightmare fuel, especially when you think that it only had half of its intended yield of 100MT.

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Vote Strangelove!

The party of common-sense solutions to the problems facing humanity;

- Reduced population densities in the 1st world to sustainable levels

- Avoid pension crises through lowered life expectancies (to between 0 and 30)

- Helping the 3rd World by removing Global economic inequality

- A return to a back-to-basics 'stone-age' values system to remove dependance on fossil fuels

- An end to Capitalism via total elimination of currency-based economies

- More of those lovely white Christmases you remember as a child

"A sacrifice required for the future of the human race"

- our beloved Fuhr, er, Party Leader Dr. S.

But don't take his word for it! Here are just a few of the glowing testimonials our policies have recieved;

"I heard about the Strangelove Party in the 60's, advised a succesion of US Presidents and couldn't stop laughing when I was awarded a nobel peace prize for ending the Vietnam war even though it was my idea to bomb 1/2 a million of them to death!" - Dr H. Kissinger

"What modern Politics lacks is a party with vision. A party not afraid to make the 'hard choices'. A party that knows what must be done to make the world, truly, a better place. The Strangeloves ARE that Party" - Ernst S. Blofeld

"I wish we had one of them doomsday machines" - Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson

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Terminator

Almost proof

That most of Hitler's lot ended up working for the CIA or NASA.

Add a new meaning to the term "National Lottery".

There should be a special category of punishment for such eugenics crimes.

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Alert

Did any one measure the climate effect of the 50 meger

I remember a lot of nuclear tests when I was growing up but I don't remember any climate change analysis.

Who needs a model when you have historical records.

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Climatic effects similar to cosmic rays?

There was a dip in global temperatures in the '50s and '60s. Was this the result of atmospheric radioactivity produced in bomb tests, which led to increased cloud cover?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record

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Grenade

Oh come on!

think outside the bomb!

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It's in the book

I believe this one was "alternative 1".

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Stop

Ozone depletion?

They seem to have forgot that after a large nuclear exchange resulting in either nuclear autumn (what seems to be suggested here) or winter is that after the soot particles eventually fall back to earth or via wash out (thereby spreading large amounts of fall out all over the globe - groundburst explosions being the only type that could generate this much soot) is that the resulting ozone depletion would be a lethal after effect. We would be effected by much larger amounts of ultraviolet causing cancers, cataracts and leukaemia in humans and causing widespread crop failure in plants and destruction of phytoplankton in the sea. Naturally such effects at the base of the food chain will be pretty catastrophic leading to plant and species collapse or even extinction. The science behind the effects of multiple nuclear explosions is pretty robust - the literature is quite extensive on this subject.

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Has a familiar ring to it.

Stay indoors.

Do not think about The Event.

(C)Michell and Webb

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Didn't TSR release an RPG

based on that thesis?

Oh, and that would be "scientific projections on the effects of multiple nuclear explosions is pretty robust." Until you perform the experiment, it isn't science. And since we don't seem to have a spare planet earth laying about on which we could run the experiment, this is one time I would prefer to keep it at projections instead of science.

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It's coming...

the excuses for the exchange are being prepared already (the coming problems between Europe and Islam)

and the elite are already organising their bunker spaces...

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FAIL

Hang on a minute

The model shows serious global cooling occurring as a result of 100 Hiroshima bombs, states that 30 x this would be needed to equal the Tsar Bomba, and yet - the Tsar Bomba was atmosphere-detonated in 1961 and there was no climate change as a result. Now, if the Tsar Bomba's THIRTY TIMES the power of the explosions in the model failed to produce any noticeable effect, how are we supposed to believe the model's 100 baby nukes that amount to 1/30th of the Tsar Bomba will do anything?

If ever you needed clear and evident proof that climate-change models are complete and utter bullshit, you have it right there.

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Yeah!

What he said!

(Plus: nice name. Fan of XKCD, perhaps? http://xkcd.com/327)

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Stop

Not a good example

The Soviet "Tsar Bomba" is not a good example of nuclear effects. It was an airburst weapon dropped over Novaya Zemlya, a barren archipelago. It exploded at approx. 2.5 miles in altitude and set no major fires. Most of its effects were observed as blast rather than heat. Climate change effects come as the result of particulates becoming airborne which this weapon did not cause in significant numbers. Nuclear weapon effects of the most hazardous sort are by far the dirtiest, groundburst explosions of high density targets like cities pulverise and vaporise millions of tonnes of concrete, steel and earth whilst millions of tonnes of soot and ash through the burning of highly inflammable and and combustible materials are ejected into the atmosphere. "Tsar Bomba" can be almost completely ignored as an example of weapon effects on the climate. Volcanos are probably a better guide in some respects.

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Here's a clue

Seeing as you haven't got one.

"Such a regional dust-up, the scientists determined, would cause conflagrations sufficient to loft about five million metric tons of black carbon into the lower atmosphere..."

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And the major volcanic eruption of equivalent magnitude within recorded history

doesn't backup the assertions of the paper. Of course it's only one data point. But that's the problem with all this climate change malarkey: too few reliable data points to come to real conclusions.

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FAIL

Cause and Effect

Trouble is, climate change is an effect, not a cause, of Bad Things.

Halting it for a period without addressing the cause is as clear a case as you could ask for of two wrongs not making a right.

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Congratulations

"As everyone except the most vehement climate-change deniers know, the earth is currently in a warming phase. The preponderance of evidence points to the rising rate of temperature increase as being anthropogenic"

Let me be the first to congratulate El Reg for allowing those words to appear under its banner..

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Nothing else

The second sentence is simply not accurate, the first is pretty solid based on evidence over geological time. The hard science evidence "against" the CO2 anthropogenic argument, versus shonky models measured against each other to prove the same point is irrefutable. It's just a matter of time before the "CO2 and it's all our fault" idea becomes a curious footnote in history.

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Coat

Current global UAH anomaly is....

-0.02C

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/03/uah-temperature-update-for-feb-2011-0-02-deg-c/

Get your coat.

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