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Uncertainties in the smoke source term for ‘nuclear winter’ studies


Climate models have shown that the effects on climate of a major nuclear exchange depend on the quantity and optical properties of the smoke that is dispersed into a global atmosphere. Published estimates for each of the factors necessary to determine the smoke optical depth yeild a wide range of values, which allows the prediction of either comparatively minor effects on climate or massive effects.

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Penner, J. Uncertainties in the smoke source term for ‘nuclear winter’ studies. Nature 324, 222–226 (1986).

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