What Iran can do now 3

As a result of the patient efforts of Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and John Kerry, Iran can now build nuclear bombs. When it has them it is more than likely to use them. Then, assuming that countries attacked by Iran’s nuclear weapons will retaliate with theirs, nuclear war will have started and this is what will happen to vast numbers of people and the earth we inhabit.

Our information source may be found here. It is a site dedicated to general nuclear disarmament, which is not a goal we argue for. But we are reasonably confident that the facts they provide are reliable.

Effects of Nuclear Weapons Detonations 

Because of the tremendous amount of energy released in a nuclear detonation, temperatures of tens of millions of degrees C develop in the immediate area of a nuclear detonation (contrast this with the few thousand degrees of a conventional explosion). … At these temperatures, everything near ground-zero vaporizes (from a few hundred meters in 15 kiloton weapons to more than a kilometer in multimegaton weapons). The remaining gases of the weapon, surrounding air and other material form a fireball.

The fireball begins to grow rapidly and rise like a balloon. As the fireball rises and subsequently expands as it cools, it gives the appearance of the familiar mushroom cloud. The vaporized debris, contaminated by radioactivity, falls over a vast area after the explosion subsides – creating a radioactive deadly fallout with long-term effects.

Because of the very high temperatures and pressures at ground zero, the gaseous residues of the explosion move outward. The effect of these high pressures is to create a blast wave traveling several times faster than sound. A 15 kiloton weapon creates pressure created in excess of 10 Psi (pounds per square inch) with wind speeds in excess of 800 km per hour up to about a 1.2 km radius. Most buildings are demolished and there will be almost no survivors. …

The surface of the fireball also emits large amounts of infrared, visible and ultraviolet rays in the first few seconds. This thermal radiation travels outward at the speed of light. As a result this is by far the most widespread of all the effects in a nuclear explosion and occurs even at distances where blast effects are minimal.

The range of thermal effects increases markedly with weapon yield (thermal radiation decays only as the inverse square of the distance from the detonation). Large nuclear weapons (in the megaton class and above) can start fires and do other thermal damage at distances far beyond the distance at which they can cause blast damage.

Even with a 15 kiloton detonation, the intensity of the thermal radiation can exceed 1000 Watts per square cm. This is similar to getting burnt by an acetylene torch used for welding metals. For a 15 kiloton bomb, almost everyone within 2 km will suffer third degree burns (which damage the skin and tissues below it); for 550 kiloton bomb, third degree burns occur in a radius up to 9 km. There will be almost no survivors since no immediate medical attention will be available (the entire U.S. has specialized facilities to treat 1500 burn victims). …

It is the cumulative effects of these firestorms – the creation of a stratospheric smoke layer resulting in deadly global climate change – which ultimately become the primary environmental consequence of nuclear war which threatens [the continuation of] human existence.

There basically are two kinds of ionizing radiation created by nuclear explosions, electromagnetic and particulate. Radiation emitted at the time of detonation is known as prompt or initial radiation, and it occurs within the first minute of detonation. Anyone close enough to the detonation to be killed by prompt radiation is likely to be killed by blast and thermal effects, so most concerns about the health effects of radiation focus upon the residual or delayed radiation, which is caused by the decay of radioactive isotopes and is commonly known as radioactive fallout.

If the fireball of the nuclear detonation touches the surface of the Earth, large amounts of soil, water, etc. will be vaporized and drawn up into the radioactive cloud. This material then also becomes highly radioactive; the smaller particles will rise into the stratosphere and be distributed globally while the larger particles will settle to Earth within about 24 hours as local fallout. Lethal levels of fallout can extend many hundreds of kilometers and miles from the blast area. Contaminated areas can remain uninhabitable for tens or hundreds of years.

Radiation injury has a long-term effect on survivors. Reactive chemicals released by ionization cause damage to DNA and disrupt cells by producing immediate effects on metabolic and replication processes. While cells can repair a great deal of the genetic damage, that takes time, and repeated injuries make it that much more difficult. Immediate treatment requires continual replacement of blood so that the damaged blood cells are replaced, and treatment of bone marrow and lymphatic tissues which are amongst the most sensitive to radiation. One must remember in this context that there are very few hospitals equipped to carry out such remedial procedures. …

Ionizing radiation from the fireball produces intense currents and electromagnetic fields, usually referred to as the electromagnetic pulse (EMP). This pulse is felt over very large distances. A single high-yield nuclear detonation will create destructive EMP over hundreds of thousands of square kilometers beneath where the explosion occurs.

EMP from high-yield nuclear detonations will subject electrical grids to voltage surges far exceeding those caused by lightning. Modern VLSI chips and microprocessors, present in most communication equipment, TVs, radios, computers and other electronic equipment are extremely sensitive to these surges and immediately get burnt out. Thus all possible communication links to the outside world are cut off.

War planners consider the EMP from the detonation of a high-yield warhead as capable of disrupting the entire communication system of their nation, and in this way a single missile launch could begin a nuclear war.

Massive absorption of warming sunlight by a global smoke layer would cause Ice Age temperatures on Earth. NASA computer models predict 40% of the smoke would stay in the stratosphere for 10 years. There the smoke would also destroy much of the protective ozone layer and allow dangerous amounts of UV [ultra-violet] light to reach the Earth’s surface.

Half of 1% of the explosive power of the deployed nuclear arsenal can create nuclear darkness. 100 Hiroshima-size weapons exploded in the large cities of India and Pakistan would put 5 million tons of smoke in the stratosphere and drop average global temperatures to Little Ice Age levels. … A large nuclear war could put 150 million tons of smoke in the stratosphere and make global temperatures colder than they were 18,000 years ago during the coldest part of the last Ice Age. Killing frosts would occur every day for 1-3 years in the large agricultural regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Average global precipitation would be reduced by 45%. … Growing seasons would be eliminated.

A large nuclear war would … cause most [survivors] to starve to death. … Deadly climate change, radioactive fallout and toxic pollution would cause a mass extinction event, eliminating humans and most complex forms of life on Earth.

Connoisseurs of irony may like to remember that Obama was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize – and that he has been steadily reducing America’s military capabilities while working to allow a huge increase of Iran’s, a self-declared and proven enemy of the United States.

Posted under Commentary, Iran, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 25, 2013

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