Nuclear Winter, first described by Drs. Brian Toon, Rich Turco, Tom Ackerman, James Pollack, and Carl Sagan (“TTAPS”) equates the plume of smoke from a comet impact that covered Earth causing the great extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago with the global winter that could extinct most life on Earth in the event of a Nuclear War. Understanding what the scientists told them of the threat of Nuclear Winter led to Reagan and Gorbachev to initiate a nuclear non-proliferation treaty process that has been followed by every US president since, until Trump. In his recent TedTalk Dr Toon renews those warnings, that nuclear weapon detonation will cause massive atmospheric darkening from world-wide smoke and fires, resulting in the annihilation of much of the life on Earth.
Dr. Toon, currently an Atmospheric and Oceanic a researcher at University of Colorado, was a lead atmospheric chemist on the NASA Ozone Hole research, which led to perhaps the most impressive example to date of human cooperation—the Montreal Protocol Banning Substances that Deplete the Ozone. Since the treaty was signed in 1987 by nearly every country on the planet, the international treaty to phase out ozone depleting chemicals has been carefully monitored. In this episode of Planet Watch, Dr. Toon reports on the progress to date on repairing the Ozone Hole.
Air Date: November 4, 2018 on KSCO radio station AM1080