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A Nuclear Winter's TaleScience and Politics in the 1980s$
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Lawrence Badash

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012720

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.001.0001

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A Frenzy of Research

A Frenzy of Research

(p.175) 13 A Frenzy of Research
A Nuclear Winter's Tale

Lawrence Badash

The MIT Press

The fact that some of the computer models used in nuclear winter research were derived from others raised concern that many scientists were reaching the same conclusions. Those who studied the nuclear war scenarios, the physical and chemical effects, and the climatic consequences generally viewed their research as independent and were thus confident of its direction. Aside from the independence of models used in the research, another issue was their intrinsic value—that is, whether they were worth believing. In early 1985, better results were obtained from interactive models, which supplanted the one-dimensional representation used by the TTAPS team of Richard Turco, Owen Brian Toon, Thomas Ackerman, James Pollack, and Carl Sagan and the two- and three-dimensional models, which were unable to move smoke around. A number of fire studies were conducted to verify or challenge the TTAPS findings. New research on the biological and ecological implications of nuclear war also appeared.

Keywords:   nuclear winter, nuclear war, research, computer models, Carl Sagan, smoke, fire studies, Richard Turco, Owen Brian Toon, Thomas Ackerman

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