Structural Analysis of the Climatic Response to a Nuclear War
Global and indirect consequences of nuclear warfare, which would be mediated by the atmosphere, are discussed already since the fifteeth. A definite assertion about the sign and magnitude of potential climatic effects/ however, was not achieved for long. Apart from quantitative investigation, crescent warnings of a possible climate catastrophe after an all-out nuclear exchange originated in the late seventeeth from a general increase in understanding the structure and dynamics of complex systems, from the quickly developing knowledge about paleoclimatic changes, and from global energy balance studies of climate variability and stability. A serious, quantitatively based consideration of atmospheric, climatic and environmental consequences of nuclear war became available in 1982 with an international study , which also brought forth the startling discovery of a potential severe atmospheric impact of smoke. Due to propitious coincidence with major attention devoted to Martian dust storms, the “Nuclear Winter” theory could be quickly carved out and further developed as a well-founded scientific reasoning . On the other hand, general indeterminisms (the “scenario”), poorly understood climatic feedbacks, and insufficient self-consistency and resolution of current-generation climate models span a serious range of uncertainty. Activities are worldwide in progress to narrow these margins . One question is often posed in this context: What methods and what general properties of the climate system may the computational analyst rely on in this field?
KeywordsClimatic Response Climate Catastrophe Paleoclimatic Change Startling Discovery Dramatic Structural Change
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