The Doomsday Clock, explained
"Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."
Animated Chart: Nuclear Warheads by Country (1945-2022)
Following the first successful test of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945, Manhattan Project* director J. Robert Oppenheimer brooded on the dire implications. Later, he famously invoked a quote from the Bhagavad Gita:
The Doomsday Clock is a symbol that represents how close we are to destroying the world with dangerous technologies of our own making. It warns how many metaphorical “minutes to midnight” humanity has left.
was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons.
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Even the relatively small India–Pakistan nuclear war would have catastrophic effects on the rest of the world.
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"Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill."
A nuclear blast comes in six stages. There’s a flash of light, a wave of heat, a release of nuclear radiation, a fireball, a blast of air, and finally the radioactive fallout.
This all happens very quickly—within just a few seconds—but modern early warning systems will likely give you some time to react.
Russia's nuclear arsenal is capable of striking just about anywhere on the planet.
If a single weapon was launched at the US, residents would have roughly 30 minutes, or less, to find shelter, assuming they were immediately warned of the attack.
The protection factor that various buildings, and locations within them, offer from the radioactive fallout of a nuclear blast. The higher the number, the greater the protection.
SGS developed a new simulation for a plausible escalating war between the United States and Russia. It is estimated that there would be more than 90 million people dead and injured within the first few hours of the conflict.
Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
produces a high-voltage surge that poses no direct health threat, but may damage electronic equipment two to five miles from ground zero and disrupt communications.
Suddenly, the sky blazes with the radiance of a thousand suns. Millions of lives burn to ash and shadow.
In addition to killing hundreds of thousands of people instantly, a nuclear explosion would create visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light waves that would combine to produce a large, very hot fireball capable of burning everything and creating third-degree burns within an even larger radius than the blast damage.
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Needless to say, being at ground zero of such an explosion means instant death.
click here: NUKEMAP
According to Buddemeier, the blast zone of a nuclear explosion breaks down into three areas: the severe damage zone, the moderate damage zone, and the light damage zone. If you’re in the severe damage zone (the area consumed by the fireball) your chances of surviving are low, but you may live through it if you have the right shelter.
Firestorms triggered by burning cities create a huge plume of smoke, soot and ash. The plume rises above the clouds, into the upper atmosphere of the planet, where it will stay, encircling the globe, shielding the Earth from the Sun’s light, cooling the planet.
Almost all those who directly absorbed the radiation within one kilometer of the hypocenter died.
Why did the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima leave shadows of people etched on sidewalks?
Getting blown up is fairly self explanatory, but the sometimes quick, sometimes slow death of radiation poisoning all depends on the dose of radiation received. It is a complex formula, but the most important factors are:
- proximity to the bomb epicenter,
- whether you are inside a solid structure or exposed without cover outside,
- the type of bomb used,
- and prevailing winds.
Radiation is the secondary, and much more insidious, consequence of a nuclear blast.
The fission bombs dropped on Japan created local nuclear fallout, but modern thermonuclear weapons blast radioactive material high into the stratosphere , allowing for global fallout.
During nuclear fallout, radiation doses reach the equivalent of
3 million chest
If whole-body radiation is greater than 20 to 30 Gy, immediate low blood pressure, vomiting, and explosive bloody diarrhea occur. That's followed within hours by seizures, disorientation, and tremors. Death usually occurs within 72 hours.
is the residual radioactive material propelled into the upper atmosphere following a nuclear blast, so called because it "falls out" of the sky after the explosion and the shock wave has passed.
After the explosion, a huge mushroom-shaped cloud towered over Hiroshima. Twenty or thirty minutes later, it was picked up by a westward wind and drifted northeast, its shape gradually crumbling. The cloud rained black rain on the areas it passed over. The rain contained mud and dust stirred up by the explosion, soot from the fires, and radioactive materials. This black rain exposed even persons far from the hypocenter to radiation injury.
There is no effective treatment for severe radiation sickness and you would die within days.
Disturbing Pictures From The Aftermath Of Nuclear Warfare
Even a small nuclear conflict, with only 50 to 100 missiles exchanged, would create a mini nuclear winter that could impact the entire globe.
The current consensus is that nuclear winter would cool the planet for somewhere between
1 and 4 years -
Though it’s not something most people want to talk about, in the chaos following a disaster, your personal security is not guaranteed. Law and order will go out the window, and you’ll need some means for defending your family.
regardless of the size of the conflict
, as that’s the amount of time it would take natural cycles to cleanse the atmosphere of particles.
is a severe and prolonged global climatic cooling effect hypothesized to occur after widespread firestorms following a nuclear war. The hypothesis is based on the fact that such fires can inject soot into the stratosphere, where it can block some direct sunlight from reaching the surface of the Earth.
The conditions of semidarkness, killing frosts, and subfreezing temperatures, combined with high doses of radiation from nuclear fallout, would interrupt plant photosynthesis and could thus destroy much of the Earth’s vegetation and animal life.
The widespread destruction of industrial, medical, and transportation infrastructures along with food supplies and crops would trigger a massive death toll from starvation, exposure, and disease.
The nuclear winter scenario assumes that 100 or more city firestorms are ignited by nuclear explosions, and that the firestorms lift large amounts of sooty smoke into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere by the movement offered by the pyrocumulonimbus clouds that form during a firestorm. At 10–15 kilometres (6–9 miles) above the Earth's surface, the absorption of sunlight could further heat the soot in the smoke, lifting some or all of it into the stratosphere, where the smoke could persist for years if there is no rain to wash it out. This aerosol of particles could heat the stratosphere and prevent a portion of the sun's light from reaching the surface, causing surface temperatures to drop drastically. In this scenario it is predictedthat surface air temperatures would be the same as, or colder than, a given region's winter for months to years on end.
Another major, cascading effect of even a partial nuclear winter would be the depletion of the ozone layer, allowing crops to be further damaged by unfiltered hard ultraviolet solar radiation.
With 20 - 70 percent of the ozone lost across the planet, leading to significant destruction of plant, marine and animal life on Earth, and resulting in skin cancers, DNA mutation and eye damage in humans and animals alike.
Grain reserves would be gone in a year or two.
The researchers did not explicitly calculate how many people would starve, but say that the ensuing famine would be worse than any in documented history.
Farmers might respond by planting maize, wheat and soya beans in parts of the globe likely to be less affected by a nuclear winter.
Other research reveals that a nuclear winter would dramatically alter the chemistry of the oceans, and probably decimate coral reefs and other marine ecosystems.
Godzilla was originally intended as a heavy-handed and fairly blunt metaphor for the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Can life survive in a radioactive environment?
Nuclear accidents make mutant bugs and birds
is a genetic anomaly in a genome.
the aftermath of the Nuclear Apocalypse resulted in many mutations in living organisms.
There is a much higher tolerance to radiation.
Radiation induced cancers will affect many survivors, often twenty or more years later.
three years after the bombs explode, global temperatures would have plummeted by more than 10 °C — more than the cooling during the last ice age
While the physical effects of a nuclear winter would begin to dissipate after a decade as the sky started to clear, the catastrophic consequences of even a localised nuclear conflict would have far-reaching consequences.
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The nuclear detonations would release CO2 and other greenhouse gases from burning, followed by more released from decay of dead organic matter. The detonations would also insert nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere that would then deplete the ozone layer around the Earth. This layer screens out UV-C radiation from the Sun, which causes genetic damage to life forms on the surface. As the temperature rises, the amount of water in the atmosphere would increase, causing further greenhouse warming of the surface, and if it rose enough, it could cause the sublimation of methane clathrate deposits on the sea floor, releasing huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, perhaps enough to trigger runaway climate change.
is a hypothetical scenario that would follow a nuclear winter.
The cooling effect would be overcome by a heating effect from greenhouse warming, which would raise surface temperatures rapidly by many degrees, enough to cause the death of much if not most of the life that had survived the cooling, much of which is more vulnerable to higher-than-normal temperatures than to lower-than-normal temperatures.
In many ways, the nuclear winter debate is similar to the global warming debate.
In both cases, it's easy to classify one side as alarmist and accuse the other of being in denial.
It's also easy to attribute political motivations to either side.
Some scientists predict that nuclear winter would be followed by an even harsher spring.