Nuclear weapons are a very real, deadly problem that the entire population of the world must deal with. Any country that chooses to use one of these weapons will be causing severe global conditions that will ripple throughout the environment. The following is 10 facts about the repercussions the use of a nuclear weapon would have on humans and the environment.
Fact #1 – Any human or animal within the blast radius will be killed almost immediately. Nuclear explosions pack a deadly punch. The punch refers to the overpressure created by the explosion itself. The area affected by the explosion will depend on the proximity to the ground at the point of detonation. Buildings, trees and any other structures would be wiped out by the force of the winds created by the explosion.
Fact #2 – The thermal radiation from a nuclear weapon could ignite millions of fires. The environmental landscape of an area affected by a nuclear weapon would never be the same. Businesses, homes and public structures are more prone to have a fire started by thermal radiation. Any human within a few miles of the blast would most likely suffer second and third degree burns. Temporary blindness caused by the sheer brightness of the flash is also likely.
Fact #3 – Radiation poisoning is a long lasting effect of a nuclear weapon. Any human exposed to a lethal exposure of gamma rays, and neutrons will most likely die within six weeks. People not exposed to a massive amount of radiation are still prone to develop medical problems. Fortunately, direct radiation is not as far reaching as the actual blast zone.
Fact #4 – An explosion caused by a nuclear weapon will most likely trigger an earthquake. The strength and devastation of the earthquake will be determined by the explosion’s proximity to any major fault lines.
Fact #5 – The fallout radiation will cause significant problems over a widespread area. Once the blast settles, the smoke will rise into the atmosphere and be carried for hundreds of miles. The deadly radiation will be distributed through the environment, including the water and soil. Animals would be tainted and soil would be unusable. Water effected by the particles would be undrinkable.
Fact #6 – The detonation of a nuclear weapon would create an electromagnetic pulse. The pulse acts as a giant lightning strike. Computers, radios, and communication devices will be rendered useless. Pacemakers will most likely stop working. Airplanes and helicopters would be unable to fly to deliver any kind of aid.
Fact #7 – The smoke and radiation released into the atmosphere after a nuclear weapon is detonated will severely damage the fragile ozone layer. A depleted ozone layer could cause widespread environmental problems, which would directly affect earth’s inhabitants.
Fact #8 – Smoke caused from the fires, and nuclear detonation would create a thick layer of smog causing the sky to turn gray. The sun’s rays would not be able to cut through the murky atmosphere making for a very cold region. Cold temperatures and no sunlight would kill crops, dramatically affecting the world’s food supply.
Fact #9 – Long-term effects of the radiation released into the atmosphere may include a rise in cancers, birth defects, infertility and other health problems.
Fact #10 – A surface detonation of a nuclear weapon would create a giant crater. The size of the crater would be dependent on the size of the weapon. The soil taken from the earth would be sucked up into the air forming a large plume of smoke. The smoke plume would blow the contaminated earth particles throughout the region.