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Though climate change and global warming are often used synonymously, there’s a different kind of climate change that also deserves attention: nuclear winter. A period of extreme global cooling that would likely follow a major nuclear exchange, nuclear winter is as of now — unlike global warming — still avoidable. But as Cold War era treaties break down and new nations gain nuclear capabilities, it's essential that we understand the potential climate impacts of nuclear war. On Not Cool Episode 23, Ariel talks to Brian Toon, one of the five authors of the 1983 paper that first outlined the concept of nuclear winter. Brian discusses the global tensions that could lead to a nuclear exchange, the process by which such an exchange would drastically reduce the temperature of the planet, and the implications of this kind of drastic temperature drop for humanity. He also explains how nuclear weapons have evolved since their invention, why our nuclear arsenal doesn't need an upgrade, and why modern building materials would make nuclear winter worse. Topics discussed include: -Causes and impacts of nuclear winter -History of nuclear weapons development -History of disarmament -Current nuclear arsenals -Mutually assured destruction -Fires and climate -Greenhouse gases vs. aerosols -Black carbon and plastics -India/Pakistan tensions -US/Russia tensions -Unknowns -Global food storage and shortages For more: https://futureoflife.org/2016/10/31/nuclear-winter-robock-toon-podcast/ https://futureoflife.org/2017/04/27/climate-change-podcast-toon-trenberth/

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