Talk:Nuclear winter/Archive 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Citation needed?

The second sentence of the article starts with "It has been theorized that severely cold weather and reduced sunlight for a period of months or even years could be caused ..."

Who theorized? The article should start by mentioning the studies that first came up with the idea that a nuclear winter could happen and why.

Vhilden (talk) 23:05, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Tretkyakov again

A long paragraph about Tretyakov was put in the criticism section. I have removed it. Tretyakov was not a scientist, was in no position to criticise nuclear winter theory and he never claimed to do so. What he said was that Western research into nuclear winter was prompted by two fraudulent scientific papers written in Russia at the command of the KGB. Tretyakov is the only source for this claim, which has received no corroboration from anyone else. Indeed, one of the supposedly fraudulent papers was actually produced as part of a joint Soviet-US research programme and was published in a refereed American scientific journal. As to his claim that Crutzen and Birks wrote "Twilight at Noon" under the influence of the KGB, Tretyakov produced no evidence whatever for it. For anyone interested, I have written in detail about Tretyakov here This crackpot idea does not deserve to be included in a serious article about nuclear winter. Marshall46 (talk) 09:33, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree that Tretyakov's claim is WP:FRINGE and should be kept out. It's a typical situation with the ex-KGB and ex-CIA officers: after getting fired, retiring or defecting they start publishing conspiracy theory books in order to make money and get famous. They never provide real evidence for their claims - readers are just supposed to trust them because they have "secret info". Of course, there are always enough people and institutions ready to finance and publish such books - these are usually pursuing their own agenda when doing so. I think we should be very careful about inserting claims by these conspiracy theorists to WP. Nanobear (talk) 10:18, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I too agree that Tretyakov's claim is suspect due to the chronology of the published papers.
However it should be in the article page as the FBI also seem to agree with Tretyakov's claim.
  • The Targeting of Sensitive, Proprietary, and Classified Information on Campuses of Higher Education
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/counterintelligence/higher-education-and-national-security
The KGB had the report published in a Swedish journal. In the intelligence world, this is called disinformation. Disinformation may be blatant deception or small fabricated kernels in a large milieu of reliable facts. In the academic arena where research is often based on previous research, when results from a study can be shared quickly and easily with other researchers, it is important to science that people share accurate results. If subsequent research is based on incorrect data, many of those subsequent conclusions could be inaccurate as well.
The same document but in PDF
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/counterintelligence/higher-education-national-security
Further references can be found on the page Soviet influence on the peace movement and yet more are linked to in the above talk page. There is now certainly sufficient support for Tretyakov's claim to be included in the article, despite the chronology not being right. Any addition of this claim to the article should include that Tretyakov gets the Chronology of events wrong. Though simply because the Chronology is wrong doesn't mean it isn't worthy of addition.
What do the rest of you think?
Boundarylayer (talk) 03:09, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
But this is nothing new, its simply quoting T in Comrade J, no? William M. Connolley (talk) 10:32, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Tretyakov's claim concerning the existence of bogus reports written at the bidding of the KGB remains uncorroborated. The FBI's statement that "The KGB had the report published in a Swedish journal" is based on Tretyakov's claim that Crutzen and Birks' paper in Ambio, "Twilight at Noon", made use of bogus data planted by the KGB, but the FBI actually go beyond what Tretyakov himself claimed. Tretyakov never said that "Twilight at Noon" was published by the KGB, only that the research in it was carried out as a result of KGB influence. "Twilight at Noon" was refereed and Crutzen and Birks sought the opinion of nineteen scientists apart from the Ambio referees. If the paper contained bogus research or data planted by the KGB, one might expect the referees and the authors' advisers to have pointed it out. Nobody did. Neither Tretyakov nor the FBI have said which data in "Twilight at Noon" is the bogus KGB data. Can Boundarylayer spot it? Marshall46 (talk) 13:14, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Marshall 46, I do not work for the FBI so I won't put words in their mouths. However The many assumptions in the Nuclear Winter papers are not rooted in reality(as discussed below under the firestorm removal section).
Secondly, You appear to have total faith in the peer reviewing process to catch papers that come to incorrect conclusions, sadly this is not always the case, as the below example shows-
Stephen Schneider head of Standford's climate department and a PhD penned a peer reviewed paper published in the Journal of Science in 1971 declaring the now debunked Global Dimming hypothesis was real and we should expect an ice age if we continue to burn fossil fuels.
https://www.sciencemag.org/content/173/3992/138.abstract
such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.
The model behind this paper was correct, but like all models, if you put incorrect data into them and make groundless assumptions you will get a climate model which presents results that are completely backways and wrong. Sadly the peer reviewed process failed in this incidence to catch this fudged paper.
As I go over in the section below, the Nuclear Winter Hypothesis again has incorrect assumptions and data inputted into their models. This leads to, as was the case with Stephen Schneider's Global Dimming paper, conclusions that are completely wrong.
There is nothing like and ugly fact to destroy a beautiful theory.
Source Climate wars a documentary presented by Iain Stewart (geologist). I reccommend it, it charts the development of Global Warming and has an interview with Schneider.
By the way, I'm not entirely convinced that the whole Nuclear Winter hypothesis was cooked up by the KGB.
However once presented in the 70s and 80s I am convinced that both the US & Soviet Union's leadership including the KGB tried to use the hypothesis, despite it being woefully incorrect, to their political advantage. Reagan's SDI Star Wars project and used by the Soviet Union to calm Fidel Castro etc as presented in the article already.
Boundarylayer (talk) 17:59, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The point remains that Tretyakov is the only source for allegations of KGB influence on Crutzen and Birks, and on this issue he is unreliable. Marshall46 (talk) 19:14, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

I don't disagree, like I've said, but there is bogus data in the Nuclear Winter papers. You asked what the bogus data is, and I present it below and will shortly include it in the article page, but I would appreciate help writing the criticism section. For example, should the section lead with previous advocate of Nuclear Winter Willian Cotton's (PhD of Atmospheric Sciences) damning quote, or focus more on the incorrect assumption in the Nuclear Winter papers(incl the 2008 paper) that modern cities are assumed to be exactly like Hamburg and Hiroshima in construction and fuel loading? -

  • Human Impacts on Weather And Climate - Cambridge University Press

William R. Cotton, Roger A. Pielke 2007 http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=hq7_TAFD4osC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&ots=7BsoRQVEWJ&sig=r-tm77FpcCDELZoiTOkdPI-w6Yk&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Penner&f=false

William Cotton is Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University and was a previous supporter of predictions made by Nuclear Winter advocates(Pg 184 A Nuclear Winter's Tale. MIT press*) but has since reversed this position as this 2007 book attests to.

Quotation - It is clear that Nuclear Winter was largely politically motivated from the beginning, and it is an example of science being subverted to politcal ends. This is not the way that good science should be conducted. Pg 219

  • A Nuclear Winter's Tale MIT Press*. pg184

http://books.google.ie/books/about/A_Nuclear_Winter_s_Tale.html?id=y8M5vx-Lrk0C&redir_esc=y — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boundarylayer (talkcontribs) 21:40, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

You are missing the point. Tretyakov did not say that the nuclear winter hypothesis was incorrect, which he admitted he was unqualified to judge. He said that the Crutzen and Birks paper "Twilight at Noon" was written as a result of bogus data being fed to Ambio by the KGB. I asked where is the bogus data in "Twilight at Noon"?
A section on the political uses of nuclear winter has yet to be written. Badash is a good starting point. But note that the arguments are not just on one side: it has been suggested that Soviet scientists took up the theory in order to undermine the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons policy, just as Sagan did in the USA.
The political uses of nuclear winter is a separate issue from weaknesses in the theory, and weaknesses in the theory are separate from claims of KGB disinformation - which, from an analysis of Tretyakov, seems to be hogwash. Marshall46 (talk) 13:11, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Marshall, you wrote 'weaknesses in the theory are separate from claims of KGB disinformation'.
Although that may be so if you assume the KGB didn't have any involvement, however if they actually did then weaknesses in the hypothesis are definitely linked with their disinformation campaign, as the FBI points out-
Disinformation may be blatant deception or small fabricated kernels in a large milieu of reliable facts. In the academic arena where research is often based on previous research, when results from a study can be shared quickly and easily with other researchers, it is important to science that people share accurate results. If subsequent research is based on incorrect data, many of those subsequent conclusions could be inaccurate as well.
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/counterintelligence/higher-education-national-security
You've asked - 'I asked where is the bogus data in "Twilight at Noon"?' I've detailed the bogus or misleading data in the most recent 2008 Nuclear Winter paper below, and will summarize it here for easy reading. Also of note is that, as the 2008 paper is a case of subsequent research, then in effect I have also detailed the bogus data in the 1983 paper too.
The major point is that all the papers assume that Modern Cities are built like Hamburg and Hiroshima. However Modern cities aren't built like them at all, and thus cannot burn like Hamburg and Hiroshima.
Modern cities are more akin to Berlin of 1945, where despite massive firebombing efforts, and massive city area destroyed by the individual fires, no firestorm ever developed.
Fuel loading played a major role in keeping Berlin Firestorm free during WWII-
One reason for the lack of success in creating a firestorm in Berlin during World War II was that the building density in Berlin was too low to support easy fire spread from building to building. Another reason was that much of the building construction was newer and better than in most of old German city centers. Modern building practices led to more effective firewalls and fire resistant construction. Mass fires never proved to be possible in Berlin. No matter how heavy the raid or what kinds of firebombs weredropped, no major firestorm ever developed. http://www.scribd.com/doc/49221078/18-Fire-in-WW-II


The 2008 paper decisively admits that they failed to look at the many modern city fuel loading surveys already undertaken by fire protection agencies. Instead they rely upon the mother of all skewed generalizations, a fuel loading formula that is based off of Hamburg, which is incidentally a city that firestormed, unlike Berlin. So they begin by assuming every modern city has similar fire loadings to Hamburg. When in reality modern cities are anything but.
The 2008 Nuclear Winter paper Environmental consequences of Nuclear War by Toon Robock & Turco.
http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/ToonRobockTurcoPhysicsToday.pdf
Personally, like I've said, I don't believe the KGB planted the misleading assumption, I think Occams Razors would force one to think that a small number of publicity hunger, climatologists are themselves more than capable enough to plant the Spherical cow in their paper and thus skew it's conclusion, than it is to invoke that it was some vast KGB disinformation conspiracy.
After all, as Stephen Schneider said himself,(author of quite a few Nuclear Winter papers) in 1996 So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention about any doubts we might have.
http://johnquiggin.com/2003/09/19/honest-or-effective/
Boundarylayer (talk) 23:06, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Firestorm section removed

The firestorm section in this version of the article appears to be entirely WP:OR#Synthesis_of_published_material_that_advances_a_position, since it uses statements about Hiroshima and Nagasaki to question nuclear winter models, while as far as I could see none of the papers cited made such a connection (correct me if I'm wrong). Unless some papers published by professionals are found that make such a connection, I don't think the section can be salvaged, so I removed the whole thing for now. As I said in my edit note, facts about Hiroshima and Nagasaki are of very questionable relevance since the bombs dropped on those cities were fission bombs, which are far less powerful than H-bombs which use nuclear fusion. Hypnosifl (talk) 20:31, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree completely, as i've indicated in the above discussions. The whole thing was one large synthesis/original research block. Good call. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 20:44, 14 June 2012 (UTC)


Excuse me? A major 2008 nuclear winter paper discusses Hiroshima sized weapons causing a nuclear winter. It is titled A regional war with 100 Hiroshima sized weapons poses a worldwide threat of climate change. I've read it, but clearly you haven't.

http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/ToonRobockTurcoPhysicsToday.pdf

You Wrote - 'Unless some papers published by professionals are found that make such a connection, I don't think the section can be salvaged, so I removed the whole thing for now.'

This comment just clearly demonstrated your complete lack of familiarity with the subject matter, as linked above the paper alledges that 100 Hiroshima sized weapons will cause a Nuclear Winter.

Furthermore, crucially central to the Nuclear Winter hypothesis is the assumption that every city hit with a modern Nuclear Weapon would firestorm, however this is a massively misleading assumption. The key question upon which the nuclear winter hypothesis rests is, whether or not modern day cities can form into firestorms and thus loft soot into the stratosphere.

You could drop million megaton nuclear weapons on to a city, which is without enough densely packed combustible fuel to firestorm (like as was found in Berlin in World War II) until the cows come home, but you'd never produce a firestorm. Simply because that is a byproduct of a burning city(regardless of what starts the fires), and not a byproduct of nuclear weapons. Don't worry, I reference everything below for you, if you still have doubts ***.

Lastly, again you are wrong, the section you crassly deleted did not soley focus on Hiroshima & Nagasaki as you contend. It also discussed Castle Bravo a 15 megaton Teller-Ulam nuclear weapon. I wonder, did you even read the section?

P.S the term 'H-bomb' is erroneous, you will not find a wikipedia article with that name here for that reason, nor will you find any scientific publications using it either. This is yet further evidence of your complete lack of familiarity with the subject matter.

Secondly, to you Kim D. Petersen, the Section was not 'Original research' as the very same 2008 paper by Toon et al(linked above) states similar sentiments as was in the now deleted section -

Substantial uncertainties attend the analysis...Surveys of fuel loading would reduce the uncertainty in fuel consumption in urban firestorms...Investigations of smoke removal in pyrocumulus clouds associated with fires would reduce the uncertainty in how much soot is actually injected into the upper atmosphere.

http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/ToonRobockTurcoPhysicsToday.pdf

So as you see, it is even becoming recognized by the leading authors on Nuclear Winter that fuel loading and 'black rain out' are issues of great importance.

  • Human Impacts on Weather And Climate - Cambridge University Press.

William R. Cotton, Roger A. Pielke 2007

(William Cotton is Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. [The same position that the Turco et al hold in their respective universities] William Cotton, with a PhD in atmospheric Science was a previous supporter of predictions made by Nuclear Winter advocates(Pg 184 A Nuclear Winter's Tale. MIT press*) but has since reversed this position as his 2007 book attests to.) Human Impacts on Weather and Climate- http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=hq7_TAFD4osC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&ots=7BsoRQVEWJ&sig=r-tm77FpcCDELZoiTOkdPI-w6Yk&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Penner&f=false

Quotations from the book- The most damning of all - It is clear that Nuclear Winter was largely politically motivated from the beginning, and it is an example of science being subverted to politcal ends. This is not the way that good science should be conducted. Pg 219

Overall the models used thus far for simulating the longer term effects of smoke injections by large-scale nuclear war are too crude to be considered reliable. pg 216

The book goes on to say on pg 207- Stratospheric injection from smoke from burning urban areas is probably relatively little, estimates that as much as 10% of the smoke will reach the stratosphere (Turco et al 1990), but this is probably on the high side. & First of all, only a few targets will have sufficiently concentrated fuels and sufficiently unstable atmospheres to support stratospheric penetrating convection.

On pg 209 the authors write: Because the bulk of fire producing clouds are in the weaker updraft categories, precipitation efficiencies are probably on the higher side, greater than 50%. the original TTAPS estimated that 25 to 50% of the smoke would be rained out immediately, subsequently Turco et al 1990 downgraded this estimate to 10-25%. In our opinions the original 1983 TTAPS estimate is probably an understatement with 50-60% (of smoke scavenged and rained out) more likely.

Keep in mind that the 2008 Turco paper again, like his 1990 publication, plucks a 20% figure out of the air for how much rain out of soot would be expected. Keep in mind that again in Turco's 2008 paper, like his 1990 publication he plucks a 20% out of thin air providing no justification or hard evidence, or even computer modelling, on which the similar 20% figure of how much rain out of soot would be expected. Quotations from the 2008 Nuclear Winter paper - the average fraction of emitted soot not scavenged out is given as Ri, assuming that Ri is 0.8. i.e they assume 20% is rained out. I've read the paper twice and no justification is given for this assumption.

Human impacts on Weather and Climate goes on to further note that Nuclear Winter models expect soot to rise to the stratosphere but neglect to include the water vapor also produced by the fire that will rise to the same height as the soot. Smoke and water vapor are simultaneously injected into the atmosphere, and with the exception of percipitation removal, they will remain colocated in the atmosphere for an extensive period. Moreover water vapor is a trace gas in the Stratosphere and requires only small additions to become saturated to form clouds. An example being Jet Contrails. pg 210.

That is not to say that the Nuclear Winter effect cannot occur. If another 10 km asteroid comes along, impacts the earth and ignites enough global firestorms in forests, and about 1000 times the soot that the most pessimistic Nuclear Winter models assume will get into the atmosphere gets there, then the rainout ability of the atmosphere would become saturated and enough soot would reach the stratosphere. Indeed then Nuclear Winter esque effects would be observed! However depending on the orders of magnitute weaker global nuclear arsenal to produce similar effects to the impact of a 10km asteroid is absurd. Like assuming a firecracker could produce the same effects as Little Boy. Not likely. As A Nuclear Winter's Tale eloquently puts it on pg 266 Nuclear Winter can occur, not that it will occur.

  • A Nuclear Winter's Tale 2009 MIT Press *.

http://books.google.ie/books/about/A_Nuclear_Winter_s_Tale.html?id=y8M5vx-Lrk0C&redir_esc=y

The 10 km asteroid delivered around 50 million MT. http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/Numbers/Math/Mathematical_Thinking/asteroid_hit.htm

Furthermore, why isn't this Nuclear Winter wiki article including Modern rebuttals to Nuclear Winter, rebuttals that were submitted to the journal of Nature in 2011!

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v475/n7354/full/475037b.html Nuclear winter was and is debatable, Seitz. Journal of Nature 2011.

http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/g370/RussellSeitz/?action=view&current=RobockAndSagan.jpg For a graphic comparison of Sagan/ TTAPS 1983 predictions and Robocks et al in 2007. In a similar vein, pg 214 of Human Impacts on Weather And Climate - Cambridge University Press William R. Cotton, Roger A. Pielke 2007 has an excellent progression of the downgrading in effects of Nuclear Winter over time as modern models are utilized.

Nuclear Winter's advocates have even begun to term it as Nuclear Autumn, as increasing computer power is utilized and better models come to light. Further downward revisions of the worse case scenario cooling will likely continue as better models are made.

On the question of firestorm formation in cities, that too will only become even less likely than it is now as time goes by and fire safety building regulations continue to become the norm worlwide.

Furthermore ~ 936 Tg of Carbon are emitted annually from forest fires, of note however is this 'Carbon' dubiously includes CO emissions from the fires, with no serious global effects observed. This does not lend much weight to the Nuclear Winter papers hypothesis that a mere 5 to 150 Tg of Soot from potential fires in cities would cause catastrophic cooling, considering we know the vast amounts of forest fires that occur each year certainly do not cause large ice age Nuclear winter like effects. http://eastfire.gmu.edu/EOS900-06/papers/W5-1.pdf DETERMINING EFFECTS OF AREA BURNED AND FIRE SEVERITY ON CARBON CYCLING AND EMISSIONS IN SIBERIA Shostakovich, V. B.: 1925, ‘Forest Conflagrations in Siberia’, J. Forestry 23, 365–371. reported on fires in 1915 in Siberia that burned for 50 days, and produced a smoke pall that covered 680 million ha and burned 100 million hectares, however The global annual Average forest burn area is ~ 5 million hectares. Thus The 1915 Siberian forest fire soley produced over 20 times more burning/carbon than annually comes from forest fires globally, with no serious adverse effects.

Russell Seitz expands upon this in "Siberian fire as 'nuclear winter' guide" (scientific correspondence), Nature, 323, 11 September 1986, pages 116-117 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v323/n6084/abs/323116a0.html

Firestorms in modern cities are vanishingly unlikey Nuclear Winter's prerequisite city firestorms can occur only in cities with fire area fuel loadings above 40kg/m^2 or 8lb/sqft**. Otherwise the fire effects after a Modern Nuclear attack in modern cities would more closely follow that observed after the firebombing of Berlin, the Nuclear weapon delivery on Nagasaki and the majority of cities with fuel loadings too low to firestorm during WWII. instead many were destroyed by conventional fire spread with no firestorm developing. So expect mass fires after a Nuclear attack on a modern city, but not for these fires to link up into an actual all important firestorm.

Firebombing on Japanese cities in 1945 - Waves of B-29s destroyed over half the total area of 66 urban centers, reducing 178 square miles to ashes http://www.atomicbombmuseum.org/2_manhattan.shtml Yet only Tokyo, Hiroshima and Ube developedfirestorms in WWII.

67 kilotons of conventional incendiary and general purpose bombs were dropped on Berlin in WWII almost twice as much as what fell on Hamburg. http://web.archive.org/web/20110722175509/http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm Hamburg firestormed, Berlin didn't. Bombing intensity was comparable to Hamburg but the comparatively lower fuel loading played a critical role in keeping Berlin firestorm free - Source 'The Bombing War' a documentary.

Low city Fuel loading played a major role in keeping Berlin Firestorm free during WWII-

One reason for the lack of success in creating a firestorm in Berlin during World War II was that the building density in Berlin was too low to support easy fire spread from building to building. Another reason was that much of the building construction was newer and better than in most of old German city centers. Modern building practices led to more effective firewalls and fire resistant construction. Mass fires never proved to be possible in Berlin. No matter how heavy the raid or what kinds of firebombs weredropped, no major firestorm ever developed. http://www.scribd.com/doc/49221078/18-Fire-in-WW-II

Also see Table 14.1 on page 88 which displays that despite a larger percentage of the city of Berlin being destroyed by Fire than that at Hamburg. No Firestorm developed in Berlin or Wuppertal despite the fire bombing being of a comparable intensity to that at Hamburg. http://www.scribd.com/doc/49221078/18-Fire-in-WW-II

So what level of fire loading in cities is necessary to form a firestorm**?

The minimum fire loading requirements for a firestorm to develop in a city, is the following:

(1)At least 8 pounds of combustibles per square foot of fire area, / a Fuel loading of 8lb/sqft or 40 kg/m^2

This is further corroborated by the National Fire protestion association NFPA.

  • American National Fire Protection Association (2005), Scawthorn, Charles; Eidinger, John M.; Schiff, Anshel J., eds., Fire Following Earthquake, Issue 26 of Monograph (American Society of Civil Engineers. Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering), American Society of Civil Engineers Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (illustrated ed.), ASCE Publications, p. 68, ISBN 9780784407394 

So that begs the question, do modern cities have a fuel loading equal to or above 40 kg/m2 or 8 pounds per square foot?

Surveys of fuel loading in US cities- The results indicate that average U.S. urban area fuel loads range from 14 to 21 kg m–2. Which is less than half needed for a firestorm to form. Anno et al 1991 Journal of Fire Technology http://www.springerlink.com/content/k01511qw16kw1462/


On pg 31 of Exploratory analysis of Firestorms. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=AD0616638 It was reported that the weight of fuel per acre in several California cities is 70 to 100 tons per acre. This amounts to about 3.5 to 5 pounds per square foot of fire area A fairly low figure that does not seem unreasonable when one considers that most California cities do not have a high percentage of tall buildings and that the spanning between them is generally wide.

Problems of Fires in Nuclear Warfare Rand Corporation. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=AD673703&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf pg 17 the average U. S. city, particularly in residential areas, is less builtup and less combustible than Japanese cities, so that fire damage here should be a smaller fraction of the exposed area.

pg 30 407 - 1 megaton bombs, 213 - 3 megaton bombs, or 101 - 10 megatons aimed specifically at (US) forests would do damage comparable to that experienced in each of the (great forest fire) years 1930 and 1931. While such forest damage as was experienced in 1930 and 1931 was undoubtedly serious, it is clear that recovery from such damage and the damage experienced by fire year after year probably would not be sufficient to prevent postwar recovery.

pg 34 Conclusion: Fire damage to urban and forested areas from a nuclear attack is frequently estimated by taking the most pessimistic values for all factors involved. This leads to gross overestimates of the damage likely to be experienced.

For the sake of completeness, as it is a commonly believed that Nuclear weapons effects are somewhat special in causing fires, one should read the following quote to dispell that, as it will likely deal with your anticipated response - that WWII firestorm data is not applicable, read - *** Section 7.61 of Glasstone & Dolan - The incendiary effects of a nuclear explosion do not present any especially characteristic features. In principle, the same overall result, as regards destruction by fire and blast, might be achieved by the use of conventional incendiary and high-explosive bombs. ...It has been estimated that 1000 tonnes of incendiary bombs could have caused similar destruction as that seen at Hiroshima if distributed over the city.

Fuel loading per unit ground area or fire area is equal to fuel loading per unit area of a building, multiplied by the builtupness fraction of the area. For example in 1943 Hamburg had a ~ 30% builtupness (30% of the ground area was actually covered by buildings), and the buildings were multistorey wooden framed buildings containing 100 pounds of fuel per square foot. Hence, in Hamburg the fuel loading of ground area was 0.3*100 = ~ 30 pounds per square foot, which is near four times above the threshold necessary to create a firestorm.

A figure of 32 pounds per square foot has been reported by H. Brunswig for the Hamnferbrook area of the Hamburg fire storm. Pg 31 of Exploratory analysis of Firestorms. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=AD0616638

By contrast, modern cities have a builtupness of only 10-30% in most residential areas and 40% in commercial and downtown areas. Modern wooden American houses have a fuel loading of 20 pounds per square foot of building area with a builtupness below 30%, so the fuel loading per square foot of ground is below 20*0.30 = a max of 6 pounds per square foot, and would not produce a firestorm. Brick and concrete buildings contain on the average about 3.5-7 pounds per square foot of floor area, so they can't produce firestorms either, even if they are all ignited at once.

Thus as you should now be aware, cities can't Firestorm, unless fuel loading in the fire area is above the threshold level

Not Surprisingly the 2008 Nuclear Winter paper decisively admits that they failed to look at the many modern fuel loading surveys already undertaken by fire protection agencies. Instead they rely upon the mother of all skewed generalizations, a fuel loading formula that is based off of Hamburg, which is incidentally a city that firestormed, unlike the more modern Berlin of 1945, so they begin by assuming every modern city has similar fire loadings as Hamburg. When in reality modern cities are anything but. The metric of Fuel loading in target cities is fundamental to the question of whether or not you can start a firestorm in that city, something the authors clearly know but shy away from really looking into, instead biasingly preferring to assume every modern city is akin to Hamburg.

Turco et al 2008 write- Surveys of fuel loading would reduce the uncertainty in fuel comsumption in urban firestorms .

Indeed it would Toon Robock and Turco, indeed it would. One wonders why then they didn't look at the available data as presented above? Perhaps because they might find that the majority of modern cities wouldn't firestorm due to their fuel loading being below the 40kg/m^2 threshold necessary.

http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/88spp.html Nuclear winter: science and politics Published in Science and Public Policy, Vol. 15, No. 5, October 1988, pp. 321-334. The combination of assumptions in Nuclear Winter papers leads to concentration on worst cases. The selection of results for key diagrams and abstracts makes the drawing of certain policy implications much easier. In other words, the TTAPS and Ehrlich et al. papers are not 'value-neutral' pieces of research, but 'push' certain conclusions on readers through technical assumptions in model construction, selection of evidence and highlighting of results.

Stephen Schneider, author of many Nuclear Winter papers and the dismissed Nuclear cooling hypothesis, said in 1996 So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention about any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both. http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/APS.pdf

The following discussed the alarming revelation that Schneider isn't following Scientific principles but is instead trying to balance publicity/salesmanship with being honest. http://johnquiggin.com/2003/09/19/honest-or-effective/

In summary The fact of the matter is, as it stands now, this Nuclear Winter article links to Firestorm a total of zero times and has no mention of city fuel loading etc, despite both being central to the Nuclear winter hypothesis. The fact this article now has no link to even the firestorm article demonstrates its extreme bias and poor quality.

In 1 week I will reinstate the deleted Firestorm section in this Nuclear winter article, and expand it, linking the 2008 Toon et al paper discussed above and exposing it as misleading, as I have above. Every single one of the point of view issues raised by the wikipedia user who deleted the firestorm section have been thoroughly dealt with.

Nuclear Warfare would be bad enough with Fallout etc. without having people believe in the vanishingly unlikely Nuclear Winter hypothesis.

Boundarylayer (talk) 17:17, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Excuse me? A major 2008 nuclear winter paper discusses Hiroshima sized weapons causing a nuclear winter. It is titled A regional war with 100 Hiroshima sized weapons poses a worldwide threat of climate change.
Did you read the wikipedia rules on "synthesis of published materials"? One example they give (from an actual wikipedia article) is:
Smith claimed that Jones committed plagiarism by copying references from another author's book. Jones responded that it is acceptable scholarly practice to use other people's books to find new references. If Jones did not consult the original sources, this would be contrary to the practice recommended in the Harvard Writing with Sources manual, which requires citation of the source actually consulted. The Harvard manual does not call violating this rule "plagiarism". Instead, plagiarism is defined as using a source's information, ideas, words, or structure without citing them.
They say the first two sentences are acceptable, but the following sentences connecting the Smith/Jones dispute to the statements in the Harvard Writing with Sources manual are not, because it was the wiki editor's own decision to connect them and there are no published sources that specifically use the Harvard Writing with Sources manual to judge to comment on the Smith/Jones dispute (even though the connection between the two may seem fairly straightforward). Similarly, unless there are published papers that use modern findings about Hiroshima to address the validity of recent models of small-scale nuclear wars in the modern world with Hiroshima-sized bombs, like the Toon et al paper, I don't think it's acceptable for a wiki editor to make such a connection under the rules (even if you think the connection is straightforward here too). And on the more general question of whether the Hiroshima research does invalidate the Toon et al paper (regardless of whether wikipedia's rules would allow an editor to say so in an article), I don't think it's so obvious that it does. For one thing, the small-scale scenario in the Toon paper involves 50 Hiroshima-sized bombs, not 1 as in Hiroshima. And the formula for the amount of soot emitted in Box 1 does not seem to assume that firestorms are needed to get soot in the upper atmosphere, in fact the only mention of firestorms in Box 1 is that they are a factor that removes some of the soot created by burning fuels, see the sentence To account for soot removal in "black rains" induced by firestorms, the average fraction of emitted soot that is not scavenged in fire-induced convective columns is specified by the parameter RI. If you look at the section Nuclear_winter#Kuwait_wells_in_the_first_Gulf_War, in the last part about a 2007 study, it seems that what's needed to loft a lot of soot into the upper atmosphere is not necessarily a firestorm, but just a fire covering a sufficiently large area of land.
Again, if you want to say that study A invalidates study B, you need to find a published source that connects them specifically, you can't make the connection on your own according to the wiki rules. There might be some leeway when the connection is sufficiently obvious (for example, if study A gives a specific equation for soot injected into the atmosphere for a given amount of fuel per unit area, and study B gives a different equation for the exact same variables), but even then it's questionable under the rules, and in this case I think the connection between the Toon paper and the Hiroshima studies is not nearly as obvious as you seem to think. Hypnosifl (talk) 18:24, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Also, some of the info you post above is basically unrelated to your arguments about firestorms, like the quotes from the Pielke/Cotton book...feel free to add a brief quote or summary to the "criticism and debate" section, but note that both those guys are very much out of the mainstream of climate science when it comes to their opinions about evidence from climate models, as they are both skeptics of the idea that most of the warming in the last 50 years is anthropogenic, as all the mainstream climate models suggest (and they haven't offered any alternate climate model as far as I know)--see here and here. So if you mention them, keep in mind wikipedia's rules about undue weight--perhaps there should also be some mention of the fact that they are skeptical of anthropogenic warming and climate models, so readers will understand that theirs is a minority view of how to approach climate science. Hypnosifl (talk) 18:58, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Hypnosifl shifts the goalposts, and questions firestorm generation as important

Hypnosifl, You wrote -
If you look at the section Nuclear_winter#Kuwait_wells_in_the_first_Gulf_War, in the last part about a 2007 study, it seems that what's needed to loft a lot of soot into the upper atmosphere is not necessarily a firestorm, but just a fire covering a sufficiently large area of land.
Incorrect. Firestorms are necessary to heat the soot to reach the stratosphere, I suggest you go read some more. Without a firestorm, you won't generate the heat energy in Joules to lift the soot to the stratosphere, as it is this stratospheric soot that is responsible for the modelled nuclear winter effect, firestorms are a necessity. That you debate this is pretty absurb.
Hafemeister, David W, ed. (1991), Physics and Nuclear Arms Today, Issue 4 of Readings from Physics Today (illustrated ed.), Springer, p. 24 http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Hckys7gpwl4C&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24#v=onepage&q=fire%20storm&f=false
Page 24 reads Smoke from fires rises to heights primarily dependent on the intensity of the fire. Typical plume heights might be 1-5 km for forest fires, and 1-7 km for urban fires. The plume height from the Firestorm of Hamburg reached an estimated height of 13 km.
Note the Stratosphere is around 10+ km from the surface depending on time of year etc.
Carl Sagan even discussed this error in his book The Demon-Haunted World, and later research discovered the reason. The smaller individual smoke plumes, spread over a wide area, did not generate sufficient uplift to get the smoke into the upper atmosphere, even though theoretically enough smoke was produced.
If you honestly do not believe that firestorms are necessary to generate sufficient uplift to get the smoke into the upper atmosphere then I'd love to know how you explain 66 Japanese cities, 178 sq miles in total, being reduced to ashes in 1945, without global cooling in accordance with the predictions of the 2008 paper being observed in 1945 or 1946. The recent 2008 Nuclear Winter paper states that 50 burning cities would produce climate effects similar to the little ice age.
Waves of B-29s destroyed over half the total area of 66 urban centers, reducing 178 square miles to ashes. This March-July fire-bombing campaign is estimated to have taken more civilian lives than the half-million killed during five years of Allied bombing of Germany.
http://www.atomicbombmuseum.org/2_manhattan.shtml
Also see Strategic bombing during World War II for a similar long list of German cities that were burnt to the ground but did not firestorm. Like Cologne, It is honestly pretty self evident that firestorms are necessary to generate the type of cooling discussed in the Nuclear Winter paper. Otherwise, if 'fires over a large area' as hypnosifl contends is all that is needed we should have observed at least a little ice age in 1946.
and while you're on that page note that the admirality of japan were aware that their cities were particularly vulnerable to firebombing in WWII, being made out of bamboo and paper, which like the point made earlier in the firestorm section, is completely different to modern city construction, with fire protection building code practices-
The effects of the Tokyo firebombing proved the fears expressed by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in 1939: "Japanese cities, being made of wood and paper, would burn very easily. The Army talks big, but if war came and there were large-scale air raids, there's no telling what would happen."
Spector, Ronald (1985). "Eagle Against the Sun." New York: Vintage Books. p. 503
Spector, Ronald (1985). Eagle Against the Sun. Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-394-74101-7
Also the very fact the authors of the 2008 Nuclear Winter paper discuss rain out by firestorm generated clouds further reinforces that they assume firestorms will occur in modern cities. If as you suggest, firestorms are not necessary then again, I charge you to explain why they chose two cities that firestormed in WWII( Hiroshima and Hamburg) to base their model off? That is no mere coincidence son.
Further sources that support that firestorms are necessary to loft soot to the stratosphere in the Nuclear Winter papers-
In 1983, R.P. Turco, O.B. Toon, T.P. Ackerman, J.B. Pollack, and Carl Sagan (referred to as TTAPS) published a paper entitled "Global Atmospheric Consequences of Nuclear War" which is the foundation that the nuclear winter theory is based on. Theory states that nuclear explosions will set off firestorms in the cities
http://www.atomicarchive.com/Movies/Movie6.shtml
Again, that you even try and debate this, is pretty absurd.
On average ~ 936 Tg of Carbon smoke is emitted annually from the globes forest fires, of note however is this 'Carbon' dubiously includes CO emissions from the fires.
http://eastfire.gmu.edu/EOS900-06/papers/W5-1.pdf
As we both know, no serious global effects are observed each year from this. This, again, does not lend much weight to your dubious belief that firestorms are not necessary to loft soot to the stratosphere.
In a similar vein, as presented already -
DETERMINING EFFECTS OF AREA BURNED AND FIRE SEVERITY
ON CARBON CYCLING AND EMISSIONS IN SIBERIA
Shostakovich, V. B.: 1925, ‘Forest Conflagrations in Siberia’, J. Forestry 23, 365–371. reported on
Fires in 1915 in Siberia burned for 50 days, and produced a smoke pall that
covered 680 million ha and burned 100 million hectares 10,000 km^2 about the size of the island of jamaica, keep in ::::mind that The global annual Average forest burn area is ~ 5 million hectares. ::::http://eastfire.gmu.edu/EOS900-06/papers/W5-1.pdf
Therefore The 1915 Siberian forest fire soley produced over 20 times more burning/carbon than annually comes from forest fires globally, again, with no global cooling effects observed, and none anywhere near that of the little ice age as predicted from 50 cities burning in the 2008 Toon paper.
Russell Seitz expands upon this in "Siberian fire as 'nuclear winter' guide" ::::(scientific correspondence), Nature, 323, 11 September 1986, pages 116-117
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v323/n6084/abs/323116a0.html
Also Yellowstone fires of 1988 where 3,210 km^2 of forest burned in 1988. Again :::No Global cooling was observed and here, there were even reports of firestorms.
You then wrote-
some of the info you post above is basically unrelated to your arguments about firestorms, like the quotes from the Pielke/Cotton book
You're right there, I don't soley focus on the firestorm aspect of the nuclear winter papers, I also had the audacity to include a quote from a previous advocate of the Nuclear Winter hypothesis, Dr. William Cotton, which I referenced above.
William R. Cotton Ph.D. in Meteorology who developed one of the first comprehensive mesoscale weather forecast models in the US - the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) which is cited over 561 times -> http://www.springerlink.com/content/h0mk3154hp513482/ So, as you should now see, he would hardly be classified as holding a minority view, as you suggested earlier, what was it you said - 'his view is a minority view of how to approach climate science'.
Roger A. Pielke who would be more aptly described as a flip flopping sceptic of AGW, however I don't think that matters, both are highly cited Doctors of Meteorology and both their wikipedia article pages include that they are skeptical of climate models, afterall they are qualified to know, they produced one of the most cited climate models in the world i.e RAMS!
It is actually pretty sickening to me that you try to contend they both these highly cited PhD's in Meteorology are unreliable simply because they have challenged the consensus view on an entirely unrelated hypothesis, that of AGW.
If you must know William Cotton agrees that anthropogenic CO2 is the most convincing culprit to explain global warming, he simply argues that GCM climate models do not take Aerosols into account, and therefore there are large uncertainties in the models veracity when they omit important real world factors. Gone be the day that healthy skepticism was deemed a virtuous quality, and a dogmatic herd mentality was that which was derided.
Regardless, your point about them both being suspect of failing to meet Wikipedia criteria - undue weight - is false. As I've written already William Cotton is a very reliable source as he previously agreed with and even worked on prior Nuclear Winter models.
pg 184 A Nuclear Winter's Tale MIT Press.
http://books.google.ie/books/about/A_Nuclear_Winter_s_Tale.html?id=y8M5vx-Lrk0C&redir_esc=y — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boundarylayer (talkcontribs) 03:24, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
You accuse me of "shifting the goalposts", a phrase which would suggest I initially gave you one goal, then when you satisfied it, I shifted to a different goal. Do you actually think I have done this, or are you just comparing my goals to those of previous editors you've debated with (which is no concern of mine since I wasn't present for earlier debates on the firestorm issue), or misunderstanding the meaning of the phrase "shift the goalposts"? (it doesn't just mean that you find the goals I have set unreasonable) If you do think I've shifted the goalposts in the first sense, please be specific about how you think I have changed the goals over the course of our brief exchange. I think I have been pretty clear the whole time that the goal for inclusion of an argument in the wikipedia article is that there is a reliable published source that makes exactly that argument.
Your response just seems to be trying to convince readers that what you are saying is true, and completely ignoring the question of whether it meets the requirements for inclusion in a wikipedia article. Do you disagree that the rule on "synthesis" is saying pretty clearly that any time an editor wants to say that fact A has implications for the validity of theory B, they have to find a published paper from a reliable source that clearly connects A and B in this way? Please answer this question yes or no. Even if you think it's straightforward that findings suggesting a lack of firestorms in a nuclear attack on modern cities with Hiroshima-sized bombs implies a problem for nuclear winter theory (do you also think there would be a lack of firestorms in H-bomb attacks, by the way, or are you only criticizing the paper about regional nuclear war between powers that only have fission bombs?), I don't think such an argument would merit inclusion in the article unless a published paper from a reliable source could be found that made that specific argument.
With the "synthesis" rule, I think there is some leeway when a connection between two facts is sufficiently obvious to all editors involved, especially if the two facts are simply mentioned in sequence in the article with it being left to the reader to see how they are connected. For example, if one paper said "urban firestorms are a critical assumption in nuclear winter models, without firestorms very little soot would reach the upper atmosphere and so there would be little effect on climate", and then another paper said "recent studies have called into question the idea that a nuclear attack on a modern city would generate firestorms", then I think it would be OK to put those two quotes in successive sentences. But the quotes you have provided don't seem to say clearly that firestorms are a necessary assumption for getting a lot of soot into the upper atmosphere, even if the authors indicate that they think firestorms will occur (and in some of those cases they seem to be talking about attacks with vastly more powerful H-bombs, not Hiroshima-type bombs). You said:
Without a firestorm, you won't generate the heat energy in Joules to lift the soot to the stratosphere
This may well be true, but you can't expect other editors to just take your statement on your own authority, and none of your quotes clearly state this. For example, your first quote says that the height of plumes depends on the "intensity" of the fire, but doesn't say that only a firestorm can create enough intensity for plumes to reach above 10 km, it just lists the firestorm in Hamburg as an example of a particularly intense fire. Carl Sagan's comment in the Demon-Haunted World doesn't seem to be about the fact that the oil fires weren't hot enough, but rather that the plumes weren't large enough, consistent with the quote from the 2008 Toon et al. paper mentioned in Nuclear_winter#Kuwait_wells_in_the_first_Gulf_War: Stenchikov et al. [2006b][26] conducted detailed, high-resolution smoke plume simulations with the RAMS regional climate model [e.g., Miguez-Macho et al., 2005][27] and showed that individual plumes, such as those from the Kuwait oil fires in 1991, would not be expected to loft into the upper atmosphere or stratosphere, because they become diluted. However, much larger plumes, such as would be generated by city fires, produce large, undiluted mass motion that results in smoke lofting. Again, you may well be right that without a firestorm the plume cannot reach the stratosphere no matter how wide it is, but you need a reference that clearly says something like this. Your argument about 66 Japanese cities being burned without effects on the climate might be a good one if we were simply having a debate about the truth of the matter, but again if we're debating inclusion in a wikipedia article this isn't relevant unless a published reliable source makes the same argument (I would also say the argument is not completely convincing given that modern cities probably contain a lot more flammable material per unit area than the average Japanese city burned in WWII, especially given the statement in the 2008 paper that studies of various cities "suggest that the amount of fuel per unit area in the urban developed world, Mf, is a linear function of the population density P")
And the fact that authors of recent papers about modeling nuclear winter mention firestorms does suggest they think firestorms would occur (which may be reasonable if the flammable material per unit area in modern cities is much larger than Hiroshima/Nagasaki), but it doesn't clearly indicate that they think this is a necessary condition for injecting soot into the stratosphere. And it does not appear to be true that "they chose two cities that firestormed in WWII( Hiroshima and Hamburg) to base their model off" in the 2008 Toon et al. paper you linked to, Hamburg is only mentioned in connection with the relation between fuel per unit area and population density (and that relation was also said to be derived from modern US cities), while Hiroshima is only mentioned in connection to the relation between the area burned and the bomb yield, there is no indication that either city figured into their calculation of the amount of soot that would reach the upper atmosphere for a given area of city that was burned. Probably firestorms did increase the area burned in Hiroshima relative to Nagasaki by a bit, but the table here indicates 28.3 percent of buildings in Nagasaki were "blasted and burned", and the text above mentions that 67% of buildings and Hiroshima "were destroyed or severely damaged", a difference of a little more than a factor of 2, suggesting that the difference in area burned also probably wouldn't be too much larger.
Similarly, the quote from the 1983 source you mention by Turco et al., "Theory states that nuclear explosions will set off firestorms in the cities", does not specifically say that such firestorms are a necessary condition for putting large amounts of soot in the upper atmosphere. And wasn't that paper more likely discussing a war between the US and USSR involving H-bombs, not a regional war between countries like India/Pakistan using fission bombs?
You also bring up forest fires. Some very large forest fires do indeed produce plumes that reach the stratosphere, see the references following the phrase "but that smoke from fires covering a large area, like some forest fires" in the section Nuclear_winter#Kuwait_wells_in_the_first_Gulf_War. But unless you know of an estimate suggesting that the amount reaching of soot from forest fires reaching the stratosphere (as opposed to the total amount of soot) is comparable to the amount assumed in the model of a regional nuclear war, there is no particular reason to think this casts doubt on the climate model used by Toon et al. (and even if it did, though this might convince me, I wouldn't say it could be used as an argument against their model in the article unless a published reliable source could be found making the same point).
Finally, as for Cotton and Pielke, you say "It is actually pretty sickening to me that you try to contend they both these highly cited PhD's in Meteorology are unreliable simply because they have challenged the consensus view on an entirely unrelated hypothesis, that of AGW." In fact I never called them "unreliable", and I didn't mention the wikipedia rules on reliable sources, only the one on not giving undue weight to minority viewpoints, which is a separate issue. And I didn't do so merely because they are AGW skeptics, but rather because they (Pielke anyway, I'm not as sure about Cotton) appear to cite as one of the main reasons for their skepticism a distrust of climate modeling as good way to determine causality in climate changes and predict future climate outcomes (like all AGW skeptics I have seen, they appear not to offer any detailed alternative climate model that accurately accounts for past temperature changes given plausible estimates for both natural and anthropogenic climate forcings in the past, as mainstream climate models do...the RAMS model you mention is an atmospheric model of short-term weather changes, which is quite distinct from a global climate model just as meteorology is distinct from climate science, see here and here for more on weather vs. climate). This is a minority view of the proper approach to climate science, and it's directly relevant to evaluating nuclear winter scenarios which are all based on the use of climate models. If their book did not mention any doubts about climate modeling, and only discussed the issue of uncertainties in the amount of soot that would reach the stratosphere in a nuclear attack, then this might not be relevant, but I doubt that this is the case. And even if Cotton is not as leery of climate modeling as Pielke, the specific issue of how aerosols affect climate is of course directly relevant to nuclear winter (a form of aerosol-based cooling), so if the majority of the climate community thinks that the assumptions about aerosols built into climate models are largely correct, his questioning of nuclear winter models on this basis would also be a minority view.
Like I said, the main issue here is not whether a given claim is plausible to you or me, but whether it satisfies the criteria for inclusion in wikipedia. Only claims which are clearly stated in reliable published sources meet the criteria, and in some cases such claims may reflect a minority view among experts in the field, in which case they should be mentioned as such. Please address these specific issues, not just what you believe to be true. Hypnosifl (talk) 16:18, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Also, I just had a look at the section on google books of the book where you got the first quote (Hafemeister, David W, ed. (1991), Physics and Nuclear Arms Today, Issue 4 of Readings from Physics Today) and it actually seems to go against the idea that firestorms are an absolute necessity for getting significant amounts of soot into the stratosphere. The part you quoted was from p. 24, but then page 25 of the book goes on to say: Whatever the initial distribution of smoke in the atmosphere, it may well be altered by subsequent dynamic effects. For example, two recent climate models suggest that the upper part of the smoke cloud may be lofted to much greater heights due to heating by the sunlight it absorbs. One of these reports comes from a very detailed climate model that assumes 20 vertical levels in the atmosphere. As shown in figure 4, for a July simulation, with 170 Tg of smoke initially injected between 2-5 km, some fraction of the smoke gets lofted to altitudes of 15-25 km, from which it is removed very slowly. Figure 4 is on p. 23, it shows where the smoke would be concentrated 20 days after being injected at 2-5 km, it seems from the contour diagram that while the mixing ratio of smoke to air would be highest (70 * 10-9) below a height of 10 km (the height of the stratosphere), it would still be only slightly lower (60 * 10-9) just above that height, gradually dropping at greater heights (for example, it'd still be 40 * 10-9 at a height of 15 km according to the model). And note that the author uses the word "lofting" to refer specifically to the increase in height due to warming by the sun, not the original rising of the smoke from the fire; I think that the Robock et al paper from 2007 is using "lofting" in the same technical sense in the quote mentioned in Nuclear_winter#Kuwait_wells_in_the_first_Gulf_War: Stenchikov et al. [2006b][26] conducted detailed, high-resolution smoke plume simulations with the RAMS regional climate model [e.g., Miguez-Macho et al., 2005][27] and showed that individual plumes, such as those from the Kuwait oil fires in 1991, would not be expected to loft into the upper atmosphere or stratosphere, because they become diluted. However, much larger plumes, such as would be generated by city fires, produce large, undiluted mass motion that results in smoke lofting. Note that earlier in the Robock et al 2007 paper, on p. 3, they wrote Malone et al [1985] showed that lofting of aerosols in the summer due to solar heating would prolong their lifetime, because in the stratosphere they are removed from precipitation scavenging, and on p. 6 they note that the aerosols in the 5 Tg case were assumed to be pure smoke, and they said this implied that per unit mass, the aerosols in the 5 Tg case would be expected to absorb more solar radiation, producing more lofting. And on p. 7 they write about the lofting of smoke by solar absorption. So, I think it's safe to say that the quote above from p. 12 of Robock et al 2007 which appears in Nuclear_winter#Kuwait_wells_in_the_first_Gulf_War, saying the Stenchikov paper showed that the plumes from the oil fires were too small for significant lofting but that larger plumes would loft a greater proportion of smoke, was specifically talking about this effect where sunlight raises the height of the smoke to much greater heights than the heated air from the fire itself would be able to raise it to. Hypnosifl (talk) 18:23, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

See below man.

Discrepancy between the dire Nuclear Winter cooling predictions and the complete absence of these effects after real world massive fires

The previous section was getting uber long and cluttered so I made this new heading, consider it a continuation.

Hyposifl previously wrote: 'it seems that what's needed to loft a lot of soot into the upper atmosphere is not necessarily a firestorm, but just a fire covering a sufficiently large area of land.'

And

Hyposifl also wrote: 'unless you know of an estimate suggesting that the amount reaching of soot from forest fires reaching the stratosphere (as opposed to the total amount of soot) is comparable to the amount assumed in the model of a regional nuclear war, there is no particular reason to think this casts doubt on the climate model used by Toon et al.'

Ok Hypo, Let's have a look at the empirical evidence shall we, here's a small sample of some of the most recent massive conflagrations and firestorms in history.

Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009. Smoke cloud visible from the ISS in low earth orbit. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/February_7_Victoria_Bushfires_-_MODIS_Aqua.jpg

Burned area Over 4,500 km² (450,000 hectares, 1.1 million acres)

Slightly smaller than the entire state of Delaware burnt to the ground.

Result: No catastrophic massive injection of soot into the stratosphere, and even if there was, it didn't stay there as no Global Cooling has been observed.

Ash Wednesday fires 2,080 km2 (513,979 acres) in South Australia and 2,100 km2 (518,921 acres) in Victoria on one day. In the 24 hours following that morning, a holocaust of bushfires erupted and in just a few days burned over 520,000 hectares across the two states (map shows worst-affected areas). http://web.archive.org/web/20071016204725/http://www.ema.gov.au/agd/EMA/rwpattach.nsf/viewasattachmentpersonal/%2830A3EE7646E852BEBD7F907D5B33CE5A%29~3877+WEMA+hazards.pdf/$file/3877+WEMA+hazards.pdf Emergency management Australia.

Tillamook Burn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:View_of_Tillamook_Fire,_Oregon_from_airplane_-_NARA_-_299308.jpg On the 24th, the humidity dropped rapidly to 26 per cent and hot gale-force winds from the east sprang up. During the next 20 hours of August 24th and 25th the fire burned over an additional 1100 Km^2/420 mi^2, or at a rate of 21 mi^2 per hour along a 15-mile front. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=AD673703&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf PROBLEMS OF FIRE IN NUCLEAR WARFARE Jerald E. Hill Rand Corporation Santa Monica, California 21 August 1961. pg 25

Result: No Global Cooling.

How about the Peshtigo Fire of 1871? By the time it was over, 1,875 square miles (4,860 km² or 1.2 million acres) of forest had been consumed, an area approximately the size of the entire US state of Delaware. Some sources list 1.5 million acres (6,100 km²) burned.

Yet more examples, with the smoke plume again being visible from space. 2003 Canberra bushfires No Global cooling has ever been linked with these massive fires, some being large conflagrations and some containing a combination of both firestorms and conflagrations.

Yet The 2008 Toon paper suggests that 100 Hiroshima sized bombs dropped on 100 cities would cause Worldwide catastrophic cooling. Ok, Let's look at Hiroshima for a moment then, 4.4 mi^2 or 11 Km^2 was burned in that city. http://web.archive.org/web/20060624185903/http://www.dtra.mil/toolbox/directorates/td/programs/nuclear_personnel/docs/DNATR805512F.pdf RADIATION DOSE RECONSTRUCTION U.S. OCCUPATION FORCES IN HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI, JAPAN, 1945–1946 (DNA 5512F)" (PDF).

So 100 Hiroshima's would of course be 440 mi^2 or 1100 km^2 total burnt.

Now compare that with the Tillamook Burn During August 24th and 25th the fire burned over an additional ~ 1100 Km^2/420 mi^2, at a rate of 21 mi^2 per hour(equivalent to 4.77 Hiroshima's being burned each hour) along a 15-mile front. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=AD673703&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf PROBLEMS OF FIRE IN NUCLEAR WARFARE Jerald E. Hill Rand Corporation Santa Monica, California 21 August 1961. pg 25

That happens to be an almost exact match to 100 hiroshima's burning. Result? No Global cooling, contrary to what is predicted in the 2008 Nuclear Winter paper. Or how about the larger Ash Wednesday fires as mentioned and referenced above. 2,080 km2 (513,979 acres) in South Australia and 2,100 km2 (518,921 acres) in Victoria on one day.

That's equivalent to nearly 200 Hiroshima's burning in under 1 day, yet again, no global cooling was observed.

Conclusion: Nuclear Winter as presented by Toon et al is obviously based on faulty assumptions and if there is a Nuclear Winter effect, it most certainly is vastly different to what is presented by them. As these giant fires produced no cooling, cooling which is predicted in the Nuclear Winter paper of 2008. We already know from the empirical evidence that such a regional scale war, as presented in the paper, would clearly produce no cooling whatsoever. Now this is me throwing a bone to Toon et al, as I haven't even brought up the fact in this reply that modern cities are nothing like the Hiroshima of 1945, being made from predominately flimsy constructed wooden and paper screen buildings.

I'd be willing to wager an educated guess that as time goes by, in future models, the global climate effects of the wrost case scenario massive Cold War style Countervalue strike with a total of 5000 megatons used on Russian, US & European cities with the expressed aim to try and burn the enemies cities, would produce no more than 1 degree Kelvin of global cooling. That is, if the Nuclear Winter hypothesis from burning cities isn't entirely thrown out as nonsense by then, as modern cities don't firestorm and aren't expected to.

Experts suggest that due to the nature of modern US city design and construction a raging firestorm is unlikely Page 24 of Planning Guidance for response to a nuclear detonation. Written with the collaboration of FEMA & NASA to name a few agencies. http://hps.org/hsc/documents/Planning_Guidance_for_Response_to_a_Nuclear_Detonation-2nd_Edition_FINAL.pdf

And you asked for a paper that corroborated the statement that firestorms were a necessity for lifting soot to the stratosphere. From my reading they most certainly were up to the 1991. Target Area Studies Volume I-Combustible Fuel Loads in Nashville, Tennessee http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a240444.pdf See page 20 & the continuation on page 24 for the corroboration.

One major caveat I have with this paper is that it comes to the conclusion that a mass fire in the ~ 30 kg/m2 zone would produce a firestorm and loft soot into the stratosphere. However this appears to contradict the historical evidence presented in Glasstone & Dolan that at least a 40 kg/m2 of fuel loading per firestorm area is needed to produce a firestorm. The authors of the above 1991 paper were clearly ignorant of this.

I'd also like to deal with your bias against Cotton & Pielke.
You referenced the following section from the Article page Stenchikov et al. [2006b][26] conducted detailed, high-resolution smoke plume simulations with the RAMS regional climate model...
I simply ask you, Who created the RAMS regional climate model that this is based off? Why it was none other than William R. Cotton who wrote in his 2007 book That Nuclear winter is nonsense as referenced already above, not to mention he previously worked on nuclear winter models and was an advocate.
So why the discrepency between Stenchikov and Cotton? because Computer models are highly dependent the the initial conditions plugged into them before the model runs. Nuclear Winter is thus a classic example of Garbage in, garbage out.
Sure no computer model is perfect, but at least with the imperfect AGW models they are useful in helping us understand the heating effect of our inputting CO2 into the atmosphere. However imagine that someone comes along and writes a paper saying 600 ppm of CO2 will result in a whopping +15 degree increase in surface temperatures, you'd be damned skeptical. In contrast, in the case of Nuclear Winter however the models are just plain crap, designed to scare people with faulty assumptions and conclusions that are in complete disagreement with the real world. As mentioned above, a prominent advocate of Nuclear Winter Stephen Schneider published an infamous peer reviewed paper on how we could expect not global warming, but global cooling in the future from the combustion of fossil fuels. He still maintains he was right in his model, and in a way he was, but his model was faulty because it wasn't based on real world empirical evidence. You see the comparison?

With CO2 measurements we can look back in the ice cores and compare Oxygen isotope ratios to get a ballpark figure on average temperature changing with an increase in CO2 levels. This Empirical evidence is inputted into AGW models and helps refine them, correct? On the other hand Nuclear Winter dismisses empiricial evidence by completely ignoring it.

and in regard to the book page 25, yes as you pointed out the book goes on to say: 'Whatever the initial distribution of smoke in the atmosphere, it may well be altered by subsequent dynamic effects. For example, two recent climate models suggest that the upper part of the smoke cloud may be lofted to much greater heights due to heating by the sunlight it absorbs.'

He then continues with, 'if 170 Tg of soot is injected(in this model) between 2-5 km some fraction of it is lifted to 15-25km.'

How big a fraction is some? one millionth, one half?

The author then goes on to talk about a 'simple model' in his own words that 'neglects atmospheric convection'...and that's where we begin to enter through the looking glass and the modellers ask Alice the results.

Which holds more sway in science, Reality or climate models? the author fals in love with his models, he previously states that the plume height of conventional fires was observed to be 1-7 km, and that of Hamburg or Dresden to be ~13 km, he even provides a reference. Then he goes on to suggest 'some fraction' of the plumes soot from lower altitudes might be lofted into the stratosphere and stay there for years. Although it is plausible that some soot might be lofted during the daylight hours, the fraction that stays there is clearly miniscule as all the empirical evidence suggests that no cooling at all resulted from much larger real world forest fires, let alone comparably tiny cities. Empirical evidence that no cooling resulted from the burning of 66 Japanese cities from March to August 1945, nor from the much larger and more ferocious Black Saturday bushfires & Ash Wednesday fires.

If the Nuclear Winter Hypothesis is to be believed, Where is the global climate cooling from these gigantic singular forest fires?


Boundarylayer (talk) 00:45, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

And another thing, under the 'Ozone Depletion' section, the stratosphere doesn't extend up to 80km.

Yet the article page currently reads -

The computer-modeling study looked at a nuclear war between the two countries involving 50 Hiroshima-sized nuclear devices on each side, producing massive urban fires and lofting as much as five million metric tons of soot about 50 miles (80 km) into the stratosphere. The soot would absorb enough solar radiation to heat surrounding gases, setting in motion a series of chemical reactions that would break down the stratospheric ozone layer protecting Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Clearly whomever edited this did so in a sloppy manner, as the actual paper[1] states that their model put the height of the soot at 80 km in the Mesosphere, not the stratosphere, and it also states that the average height of the majority of the smoke is at 40 km.

Personally, apart from the sloppy edit, this is just more evidence that Toon et al. are cooking their results to fit their desires. Where is their evidence that substantial amounts of soot can rise all the way to the Mesosphere, apart from their personal computer game/model?

More importantly, how do they explain the fact that much larger fires like the Ash Wednesday fires & the Tillamook Burn etc. didn't produce any of the suggested severe climatic effects? They're never mentioned at all, yet you would think data from massive fires would be on which all these models are based, and yet they're not even discussed? Bizarre.

Furthermore, to conclude the debate occurring above, that of whether firestorms are needed as an input for all these Nuclear Winter models to take place. The paper on page [2] 6 states:

'The 1 to 5 Tg soot source term derives from a thorough study of the smoke produced by firestorms in modern megacities after an attack on individual countries with 50 weapons of 15 kt capacity (ref ToonOB,et al. (2007)Atmosphericeffectsandsocietal consequencesof regional scalenuclear conflicts and acts of individual nuclear terrorism.Atmos ChemPhys 7:1973–2002.)

An actual thorough study would have turned up that, contrary to Toon, firestorms are actually unlikely in modern cities.

due to the nature of modern US city design and construction a raging firestorm is unlikely http://hps.org/hsc/documents/Planning_Guidance_for_Response_to_a_Nuclear_Detonation-2nd_Edition_FINAL.pdf Page 24 of Planning Guidance for response to a nuclear detonation 2010. Written with the collaboration of FEMA & NASA to name a few agencies.

I get a Bad link response with the above document. A Better link (I hope) is - http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/docs/er/planning-guidance-for-response-to-nuclear-detonation-2-edition-final.pdf

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Boundarylayer (talkcontribs) 19:08, 22 July 2012‎ (UTC)

Altfred and Cimbala

The summary of Alfred's and Cimbala's argument says that (according to them) smaller nuclear weapons reduce the danger of a nuclear winter because they produce less fire, but at the same time they produce more dust. Do Altred and Cimbala actually say that? I thought one of the major causes of nuclear winter was dust. Pelarmian (talk) 10:27, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes the source does state that, is the reference not available to you for skim reading? The problem I think you're having is that in your mind you're treating all particulate matter equally when instead black carbon soot is suggested to have a far greater effect on atmospheric cooling than simply soil dust. Furthermore soil dust is larger and therefore falls out of the atmosphere more readily than soot does, limiting its potential to cause cooling. Just have a look at some videos of surface burst nuclear explosions such as Castle Bravo or to more succintly convey the message, the sub-surface Sedan shot nuclear test, the film of which is available on the internet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boundarylayer (talkcontribs) 17:38, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Pyrocumulonimbus clouds from wildfires

Numerous Pyrocumulonimbus clouds form every year in the US alone following natural wildfires, mention to these important clouds, as they relate to nuclear winter, as precursors, or as the vehicle that moves soot from firestorms and volcanic eruptions into the stratosphere, should be mentioned in the article. Boundarylayer (talk) 02:13, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

The following reference does just that. "Smoke in the Stratosphere: What Wildfires have Taught Us About Nuclear Winter". [1]


  1. ^ Fromm et al., 2006, Smoke in the Stratosphere: What Wildfires have Taught Us About Nuclear Winter, Eos Trans. AGU, 87(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract U14A-04

Work on the Criticism section, work in progress, to incorporate references scattered on this talk page

  • Firestorms are necessary to carry soot to the stratosphere.
  • Firestorms are unlikely in modern cities.
  • Attacks at local summer time are considered much worse than winter time attacks at sunlight heating/lofting of soot higher into the atmosphere.
  • Climatology papers assume all modern cities are exact replicas of 1940s Hiroshima, Hamburg and Dresden.
  • The fraction of soot rained out in the climatology models has arbitrarily changed from 0.8 to 0.5 as new papers come out, however no justification for this change, nor underlying experimental evidence that either one of these values is correct(that is, based on the collection of real world data from forest fires) is presented in the papers. Former advocates and modellers of nuclear winter have come out to critize it as forest fires produce a lot of water vapor that makes their clouds white and not black.
  • Some pictures of satellite images of Ash Wednesday fire and the Black Saturday bushfires wouldn't go amiss. Neither would the Tillamook Burn picture, or a picture of the black rain at Hiroshima.
  • And although I don't have a reference for this last point, the climatology models are too simplistic on their turf, that is in the air, It is bizarre to read that not a single 1 of the climatology models I've read includes a discussion on any radiochemical smoke plume +lofted fallout interactions, that is, for example ionizing fission products reacting with Carbon soot when in the stratosphere, producing likely negatively charged specks of soot in the smoke/colloidal in a veritable sea of positively charged beta decaying fission products. I also wonder if forming such refractory(not easily lofted) compounds such as Strontium-90 carbide, analogous to the common calcium carbide would be common in the smoke cloud. I think I remember reading a radiochemical analysis report on the black rain at Hiroshima that discussed these compounds, although it was a long time ago. The atmosphere would initially have a fairly high amount of roentgen (unit)s in it from a global nuclear war involving a lot of airbursts ionizing it.


  • Clean up, condense with note's and generally NPOV fix this.

All the climatology papers begin with the common premise: a large quantity of carbon aerosol has found its way into the stratosphere. As firestorm formation is clearly a necessity to generate the form of smoke discussed in the climatology models, this is the bedrock to all nuclear winter predictions. The 150 Tg carbon soot aerosol injection into the stratosphere, which the TTAPS paper required to cause nuclear winter, has been criticised on the basis of World War II firestorm ignition evidence from Japanese and medieval European wooden cities,[1] Evidence exists in survivor testimony from Hiroshima that great quantities of Carbon soot was precipitated as rainout during the Hiroshima firestorm - in the form of the infamous black rain, a natural phenomenon produced by Pyrocumulus clouds. The black rain formed soon after the bombing, washing large amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere.[1][2]

Unlike the Japanese city of Hiroshima where the only Nuclear weapon-triggered firestorm has occurred to date,[1] modern cities are unlike the Hiroshima of 1945, that is they are not built out of predominantly 'flimsy'[3] constructed flammable materials like wood, but built of mostly concrete and masonry brick.[1]

Sunshine record in Hiroshima, a wooden city nuclear explosion firestorm event on 6 August 1945. Sunshine was interrupted for just 25 minutes when the soot from the firestorm was washed out of the atmosphere by the hydroscopic (water absorbing) soot before it could be heated to reach the stratosphere.[4] The critic J. B. Knox of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in report UCRL-89907 claimed that this black rain effect from the nuclear firestorm data casts a doubt on nuclear winter.

The nuclear winter effect from the firestorm in Hiroshima blocked out the sun for 25 minutes (from burst time at 8:15 am until 8:40 am) as shown by the meteorological sunshine records printed in Figure 6 (3H) of the Report of the Joint Commission for the Investigation of the Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan, Volume 1, Office of the Air Surgeon, report NP-3036, April 19, 1951, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.[4] The Hiroshima firestorm soot was hygroscopic, absorbing water and falling out in black rain, which limited the climatic effect. The fact that soot was rapidly precipitated in a self-induced rainout in Hiroshima was in 1983 used as a nuclear winter criticism by J. B. Knox of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in report UCRL-89907. No other nuclear explosion ever created a firestorm, including detonations of up to 15 megatons beside naturally forested islands-Bikini and Eniwetok Atoll, which failed to ignite the trees due to the high (80%) air humidity and its effects both on ignition and thermal pulse transmission, instead simply badly scorching the trees.[5] Targeting oil wells instead of cities, as was done in the final TTAPS paper to compensate for reduced estimates of city firestorm soot emission, reduces the moisture effect, but the soot doesn't rise high enough from burning oil wells for widespread climatic effects, as shown in 1991 when Iraq set fire to all of Kuwait’s oil fields.

Modern Weapon effects modelling has found that city structures including skyscrapers create a great deal of shadowing, that further diminishes the probabilty of creating a firestorm directly from a nuclear weapons thermal effects[6]. This has led to further downward revisions to Nuclear Weapons effects scaling laws.

Lastly, there is the question of whether the thermal pulse of a modern nuclear weapon is sufficient to ignite an entire modern city, or simply level most of it to the ground. The generating mechanism for the firestorm that engulfed Hiroshima was not (as some contend[7]) directly linked to the thermal pulse from the atomic bomb, but in reality the major causative agent of the firestorm was the timing of the bombing, and to a lesser degree the exceptionally dry weather conditions preceding the bomb run. The fact that the bombing occurred at 08:15 local time meant the bombing occurred right around breakfast time,[1][8] which importantly implies that the fires were secondary in nature, started from overturned cooking devices when the blast wave arrived, This is in direct contrast to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, where no true firestorm formed.[9][10]

The originally secret 6 volume U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey reports on Hiroshima and Nagasaki disclose that there had been no significant rain for 3 weeks prior to the Hiroshima bombing, and for 10 days prior to the Nagasaki bombing, except for one light shower on August 5.[11] The May 1947 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report on Hiroshima lists all the factors that contributed to the firestorm on pages 4–6: "Six persons who had been in reinforced-concrete buildings within 3,200 feet of air zero stated that black cotton black-out curtains were ignited by flash heat... A large proportion of over 1,000 persons questioned was, however, in agreement that a great majority of the original fires were started by debris falling on kitchen charcoal fires ... There had been practically no rain in the city for about 3 weeks. The velocity of the wind ... was not more than 5 miles per hour.... Hundreds of fires were reported to have started in the centre of the city within 10 minutes after the explosion... almost no effort was made to fight this conflagration ... There were no automatic sprinkler systems in buildings...".[1][4]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Effects of atomic bomb on Hiroshima.Vol. 1 The National Archives
  2. ^ Hersey, John. “Hiroshima“, The New Yorker, August 31, 1946.
  3. ^ http://www.osti.gov/bridge/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=4421057
  4. ^ a b c Oughterson, et al. Medical effects of atomic bombs the report of the joint commission for the investigation of the effects of the atomic bomb in Japan volume 1. Army Inst. of Pathology, April 19, 1951 doi:10.2172/4421057 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "osti.gov" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  5. ^ Operation Castle, Project 3.3, Blast effects on tree stand (report to the test director) W.L Fons & Theodore G. Storey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, March 1955
  6. ^ http://www.usuhs.mil/afrrianniversary/events/rcsymposium/pdf/Millage.pdf Modeling the Effects of Nuclear Weapons in an Urban Setting
  7. ^ Eden, Lynn Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, And Nuclear Weapons Devastation Cornell University Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-8014-3578-2
  8. ^ Toshi Maruki The Fire of Hiroshima
  9. ^ Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Devastation of atomic bombs, 1945
  10. ^ The Effects of Nuclear Weapons Glasstone, Samuel ; Dolan, Philip J. Department of Defense, 1977
  11. ^ Radiation transport calculations for Hiroshima and Nagasaki

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Is there a reason this is not WP:FORUM ? I see lots of ed opinion but not a lot of article improvement ideas. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:57, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Not a lot of article improvement ideas...the section is titled work on the criticism section. It needs work, the above is how we might get there.
Boundarylayer (talk) 23:04, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

title change and misnomers

I think changing the title of this article might also be warranted, to something like "the history of the hypothesized atmospheric effects of nuclear war and multiple firestorms" as much of the "early work" in the article has nothing to do with nuclear winter but ozone depletion. While the notion of massive ozone depletion was in vogue in the 1970s it was soon shown to be an overblown apprehension in all practical nuclear war scenarios, following that, the climatologists changed tack and then started claiming that instead of ozone being a major issue, firestorm induced winter/ "nuclear winter" would be.

However if one carefully reads the nuclear winter papers one comes away realizing that you don't even need anything nuclear to create a "nuclear winter", according to the models, they just start off with the assumption that a number of simultaneous city firestorms have begun and then compute aerosol smoke effects etc., you'll realize the model's crucial input is multiple firestorms, not nuclear explosions, and as is well known, you do not necessarily need a nuclear explosion to cause a firestorm. Conventional WWII esque strategic bombing e.g Dresden could also be dropped straight into the models and the results would be the same, as long as enough firestorms exist, the atmosphere does not hold our prejudice that the fire started due to a nuclear explosion. It goes without saying that all firestorms of the same size and intensity are created equal. But if you think I'm in error here and the nuclear explosion adds some "extra sauce" to the firestorm, then please, by all means point it out.

As according to the papers you just need "100" or more large firestorms to be burning for these winter effects to apparently begin, nothing nuclear necessarily about that, you could probably manage that with evacuating cities and simply putting thousands of incendiary bombs inside buildings,(by training your legion of slightly absurd bat bombs of course :-)). On a more serious note, we all know conventional incendiary weapons, as dropped on Hamburg and Dresden in WWII can create massive firestorms. With, incidentally, both of these firestorms being much bigger and more intense than Hiroshima's firestorm, dwell on that for a moment. So it certainly seems that the "nuclear" in "nuclear winter" is misleading in the extreme. A more accurate description would be "firestorm winter".

If you disagree, please chip in!

Sound reasoning, but Nuclear Winter is the established usage, and that's the title that readers will look for in an encyclopedia. Pelarmian (talk) 22:59, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't disagree, but the intro of the article should explain what's contained in the article (which includes ozone stuff) and that it's not necessary to have anything nuclear involved to create a "nuclear winter" according to the models, don't you think? Pretty important information to get across I think, as it's not just a potential danger from a nuclear war, but also a large conventional one too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.46.191.135 (talk) 12:12, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
On page 242 of "A Nuclear Winter's Tale By Lawrence Badas" we have a reference to the fact that the models, if accurate, don't require nuclear weapons at all, just lots of firestorms to be ignited, perhaps done even more efficiently by non-nuclear means. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.47.16.49 (talk) 21:58, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Merger

Having read nuclear darkness and finding its just the same thing as this article it should be merged. Though I'm open to objections?

As for nuclear summer, it appears that it is suggested as what might follow a nuclear winter. Therefore I think it might be a good idea to include that snub material in this article in the form of a post nuclear winter heading here in the winter article. Boundarylayer (talk) 23:10, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

The article is already just under the "might need to be split" size boundary. See WP:SIZESPLIT. In my opinion, Nuclear darkness can stand alone and should be cross-linked as a cause under Global dimming. I would not oppose moving Nuclear darkness into this article as a section, but since we're already dancing with the size and its already a separate article, seems like one way to stay below 50k bytes is to leave the article structure as it is. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:06, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Merge both, as they are just tag-along conjectures dependent upon nuclear winter.--Froglich (talk) 02:38, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Support merge. Benny White (talk) 19:00, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Support merge they are all different facets of the same hypothesis. Lineslarge (talk) 14:13, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Support merge, but merge darkness into this article, since that is the common name used. prokaryotes (talk) 11:45, 16 April 2014 (UTC)