By Chris Schneidmiller
Global Security Newswire
WASHINGTON — A nuclear conflict involving as few as 100 weapons could produce long-term damage to the ozone layer, enabling higher than “extreme” levels of ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth’s surface, new research indicates (see GSN, March 16, 2010).
(Feb. 24) – A 1971 French nuclear test at Mururoa Atoll. The ozone layer could sustain lasting harm from a nuclear exchange involving as few as 100 weapons, allowing increased levels of ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth’s surface, according to new research (Getty Images).
Increased levels of UV radiation from the sun could persist for years, possibly with a drastic impact on humans and the environment, even thousands of miles from the area of the nuclear conflict.
“A regional nuclear exchange of 100 15-kiloton weapons … would produce unprecedented low-ozone columns over populated areas in conjunction with the coldest surface temperatures experienced in the last 1,000 years, and would likely result in a global nuclear famine,” according to a presentation delivered on Friday at a major science conference in Washington.
Today, there are five recognized nuclear powers — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. India, Israel and Pakistan are all known or widely assumed to hold nuclear weapons, while North Korea has a Read more…