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Thread: If Nuclear bombs rain down?

  1. #1 If Nuclear bombs rain down? 
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    What would happen, if every nuclear bomb on the planet was exploded, obviously most major spots would be obliterated, there would be plenty of spots not obliterated. What sort of levels of radiation would be present on the planet? Would life be able to continue?


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    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
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    certainly for cockroaches


    everything is mathematical.
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    The radiation will not kill off all life on the planet. It would kill a lot of people withn 20 or 25 miles of the target areas.

    To get an idea of the radiation levels, you might look at the area around Chernobyl. There is a 19 mile exclusion zone where people are not allowed, but sneak back in anyway, and the wildlife thrives.

    The bigger danger is probably nuclear winter, which is somewhat speculative but, if true, would be much more devastating to life than the radiation. Even so, I think a lot of people would survive. They lived through an ice age.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    I highly doubt that any remotely realistic disaster scenario would wipe out all human life, much less all life on earth. On the other hand, there are a number of ways of getting fairly close.

    (Cue William's rant about how he could do it with the perpetual motion machine in his basement.)
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    Forum Sophomore Tharghana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    (Cue William's rant about how he could do it with the perpetual motion machine in his basement.)
    , I hightly doubt that it will kill all life on earth, I mean an Asteriod only killed 70% of life on earth.
    www.periodicvideos.com - A Great Site

    "Well, good chemists shouldn't lick their fingers, anyways." - Martyn Poliakoff

    "You have lived to die, and your running out of life."

    "Once and a while, I go out of my way... to kill you... a little"
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    The radiation will not kill off all life on the planet. It would kill a lot of people withn 20 or 25 miles of the target areas.

    To get an idea of the radiation levels, you might look at the area around Chernobyl. There is a 19 mile exclusion zone where people are not allowed, but sneak back in anyway, and the wildlife thrives.

    The bigger danger is probably nuclear winter, which is somewhat speculative but, if true, would be much more devastating to life than the radiation. Even so, I think a lot of people would survive. They lived through an ice age.
    I did a little bit of research, and it was reported that today in Hiroshima there is next to zero levels of radiation, because the bomb was detonated from a height of 600m.

    With Chernobyl, the fallout is unbelievable. I saw a video on Youtube with a guy and a geiger counter, the results were less at the site than they were at a town miles away. Im thinking if a bomb was detonated on the ground it would be devastating. I think they have a 40mile exclusion zone, but people have proved land to be contaminated far greater than the 40miles. I think in Belarus.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    The radiation will not kill off all life on the planet. It would kill a lot of people withn 20 or 25 miles of the target areas.

    To get an idea of the radiation levels, you might look at the area around Chernobyl. There is a 19 mile exclusion zone where people are not allowed, but sneak back in anyway, and the wildlife thrives.

    The bigger danger is probably nuclear winter, which is somewhat speculative but, if true, would be much more devastating to life than the radiation. Even so, I think a lot of people would survive. They lived through an ice age.
    Bad analogy. A nuclear power plant accident like Chernobyl releases radioactive material and is a big disaster. But it does not result in a major explosion and the distribution of radioactive material in the form of a tremendous amount of dust and high velocity wind. It is also a single rather isolated event.

    Nuclear weapons are targeted at major military and industrial installations -- many of which tend to be in populated areas. And there are a LOT of them. So in the event of an all-out nuclear war you can count on the infrastructure on which we depend for modern survival in urban areas being completely destroyed. No electricity, no water purification, no sewer treatment, no availability of fuel for vehicles, much of the health care infrastructure put out of service, no food distribution, ..... The good news is that politicians are pretty much concentrated in urban areas.

    You can also count on radioactive material being sent into the high atmosphere, mixed with high altitude winds, and distributed across the planet. And since there are a lot of nuclear devices, you can count on a pretty significant level of radioactive material being scattered about. It would not be pretty. Food sources in the form of crops might be pretty well contaminated. You can pretty much count on general mayhem and breakdown of law and order, except what might be enforced locally by individuals.

    Life on earth would probably survive, at least some of it. But the higher animals would be in trouble. Humans might or might not survive. Some probably would. They might wish that they had not. Sickness, radioactive and otherwise would result in high mortality. A few, very few, hardy individuals might survive (or might not) But civilization would be a LONG time recovering, if ever.

    But evolution would probably work, and the successor to humans will probably be better equipped for long-term survival.

    If only a few of the available nuclear weapons were used, the result would not be quite so devastating worldwide. But it would still be pretty bad near the strikes. A place like Iran would probably cease to exist if hit with nuclear weapons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    You can also count on radioactive material being sent into the high atmosphere, mixed with high altitude winds, and distributed across the planet. And since there are a lot of nuclear devices, you can count on a pretty significant level of radioactive material being scattered about.
    I think the radioactive fallout would be the least of our worries. According to this site:
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=940&page=337

    On the simplified assumption that a war with a total of 10,000 Mt of fission took place, a total mean dose of 10 rem to each person in the world would result. Because a large fraction of the energy would be fusion, not fission, this calculated dose is probably on the high side, but not by as much as an order of magnitude.
    A dose of 10 rem falls within the range where no acute radiation symptoms would be observed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_poisoning
    0.050.2 Sv (520 REM)

    No symptoms. Potential for cancer and mutation of genetic material, according to the LNT model: this is disputed (Note: see hormesis). A few researchers contend that low dose radiation may be beneficial.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    To get an idea of the radiation levels, you might look at the area around Chernobyl. There is a 19 mile exclusion zone where people are not allowed, but sneak back in anyway, and the wildlife thrives.
    It's surrounded by a healthy environment though. So the radiation disperses elsewhere, while nature presses in. Kinda like you can salt a spot of lawn without much consequence provided the surrounding lawn is healthy. We're talking about "if every nuclear bomb on the planet was exploded" including hundreds currently deployed on ships and subs.

    Besides the radiation generated immediately, total collapse of power distribution, banking, government, production, transportation, etc etc. would almost overnight result in conditions worse than the most backward provinces of Afghanistan. Remember when Kobe burned despite massive coordinated firefighting? Imagine every city, town and forest burning out of control.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    You can also count on radioactive material being sent into the high atmosphere, mixed with high altitude winds, and distributed across the planet. And since there are a lot of nuclear devices, you can count on a pretty significant level of radioactive material being scattered about.
    I think the radioactive fallout would be the least of our worries. According to this site:
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=940&page=337

    On the simplified assumption that a war with a total of 10,000 Mt of fission took place, a total mean dose of 10 rem to each person in the world would result. Because a large fraction of the energy would be fusion, not fission, this calculated dose is probably on the high side, but not by as much as an order of magnitude.
    A dose of 10 rem falls within the range where no acute radiation symptoms would be observed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_poisoning
    0.050.2 Sv (520 REM)

    No symptoms. Potential for cancer and mutation of genetic material, according to the LNT model: this is disputed (Note: see hormesis). A few researchers contend that low dose radiation may be beneficial.
    Read the paragraph in the middle of page 343.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Read the paragraph in the middle of page 343.
    You mean where it discusses genetic defects? I wouldn't doubt that, but I am just trying to answer the original question "Would life be able to continue."
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Read the paragraph in the middle of page 343.
    You mean where it discusses genetic defects? I wouldn't doubt that, but I am just trying to answer the original question "Would life be able to continue."
    I guess the question need to be clarified. Would life be able to continue in a sustainable way ? Remember that those genetic defects would also occur in our food sources.
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  14. #13  
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    For me, what will happen is this:

    Man will mutate into various forms. And the time of mutants and cyborgs shall come.

    Or

    Middle-Earth will be born on the real Earth.




    That's more like it. Not so dreaful.
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  15. #14  
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    Posts in this thread of a questionable nature and responding posts have been moved to:
    http://www.thescienceforum.com/If-Nuclear-bombs-rain-down(pseudo)-15648t.php
    Some posts may have been edited to remove references to the moved posts.

    Any posts attempting to continue the discussions of the moved posts in this thread shall be deleted.
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    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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