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Environmental effects from burning oil wells in Kuwait

Abstract

Model calculations, constrained by satellite observations, indicate that most of the smoke from the oil fires in Kuwait will remain in the lowest few kilometres of the troposphere. Beneath the plume there is a severe reduction in daylight, and a day-time temperature drop of ~10 °C within ~200 km of the source. Episodic events of acid rain and photochemical smog will occur within ~1,000-2,000km of Kuwait. But changes in the Asian summer monsoon are unlikely to exceed the natural interannual variability and stratospheric ozone concentrations are unlikely to be affected.

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Browning, K., Allam, R., Ballard, S. et al. Environmental effects from burning oil wells in Kuwait. Nature 351, 363–367 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1038/351363a0

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