Hiroshima and Nagasaki are examples of devastating nuclear bombs that had immense effects on everything from the environment to the culture of society, even today, in Japan. Chernobyl is another example of how nuclear leakage can devastate an area, causing large amount of causalities, while also affecting the path of life for everything else that lived. These examples have shown how nuclear attacks, and breakdowns, can have extreme effects. Therefore, I want to look into what type of effects a nuclear war would have if it occurred in the future. 
It is estimated that a 10,000 megaton war would have substantial effects purely based off of the amount of dust that would be created. This magnitude of a war would 25 billion cubic meters of rock and soil, which in turn would cause dust particles to kick up into the stratosphere. It is predicted, but not well known, that this could cause climate changes. These predictions are based off of volcano eruptions that have occurred, causing similar, but smaller, patterns of dust distribution. However, the difference between natural disasters and nuclear conflicts is an important distinction. Natural disasters, although devastating, are typically dispersed over a larger area. However, nuclear destructions typically occur in a centralized location, causing the effects to be even greater. Therefore, it is safe to assume, a climate change could occur for months to follow after a nuclear attack. This is an important consequence since temperature is so vital for certain areas in the world. Crops, amongst other things, rely on certain temperatures to maintain constant growth. Therefore, dust particles could cause more issues than expected, following a nuclear conflict.
Another possibility for trouble following a nuclear instance relates to the ozone. If there was a large magnitude nuclear war, the ozone could be reduced in that area from anywhere between 30-70 percent. With a reduce in the ozone, less heat would be reflected back to earth, causing temperature drops. Like the previous paragraph, this temperature drop could have effects on the agriculture and other aspects of society. Additionally, more ultraviolet solar rays would get through to earth, which would affect all life forms. For humans, a large increase in chances of getting skin cancer is one of the largest concerns. 
Excluding the immediate effects of nuclear strikes, the delayed onset of radioactive fallout surrounding the area of attack is extremely lethal. The radioactive threats come from radioactive fission fragments with half-lives ranging from seconds, to months. Additionally, the soil, and anything else surrounding blasts becomes radioactive. It is hard to measure the effect size, or length of radioactive particles after an explosion, however it is predicted to affect an area for up to 5 years. The radiation following an explosion is classified as gamma radiation typically.
Excluding the immediate effects of nuclear strikes, the delayed onset of radioactive fallout surrounding the area of attack is extremely lethal. The radioactive threats come from radioactive fission fragments with half-lives ranging from seconds, to months. Additionally, the soil, and anything else surrounding blasts becomes radioactive. It is hard to measure the effect size, or length of radioactive particles after an explosion, however it is predicted to affect an area for up to 5 years. The radiation following an explosion is classified as gamma radiation typically. 
It is difficult to measure all of the effects due to a nuclear attack, since there are so many. However, it is clear that everything from the emotional to the physical aspects of a person's life is changed if they live near an area that suffered through a nuclear attack.
© Tom Fawcett. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.
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