Environmental and biospheric impacts of nuclear war

P. Carl, Y. Svirezhev, G. Stenchikov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We start with a sketch of earlier findings on worldwide environmental risks of nuclear testing and nuclear war. An overview is then given of the evolving new awareness since the turn of the 1970s, when international tensions gave way to the concern that a large military confrontation could be triggered soon. The ʼnuclear winter’ hypothesis plays a central role here, but the discussion of environmental and biospheric effects extends beyond this issue to emphasize the complexity of the disturbance induced by any nuclear war, including potential ‘modern’ regional nuclear conflicts. Unresolved issues include the stability of the present climatic regime and the structural role the global atmospheric water cycle appears to play. We mean to substantiate that nuclear war is the ultima irratio (Willy Brandt) and beg for pardon when falling into a strange terminology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Ecology
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780444641304
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Casualty estimates
  • Climate modeling
  • Doomsday machine
  • Escalation control
  • Hydrological cycle
  • Immune suppression
  • Monsoons
  • Mutual assured destruction
  • Nuclear exchange
  • Nuclear weapons tests
  • Nuclear winter
  • Ozone layer
  • Radioactive fallout
  • SCOPE-ENUWAR project
  • Starvation
  • Stress ecology
  • War scenarios

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental and biospheric impacts of nuclear war'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this