PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nuclear Winter test fire: brown smoke rises from smouldering brush fires, deliberately started to study the potential climatic effects of a nuclear war. The nuclear winter theory predicts that smoke from fires burning after a nuclear war would block sunlight, causing a rapid drop in temperature that would trigger serious ecological disturbance. The test burn took place in December 1986 on 500 acres of brush in Lodi Canyon, Los Angeles. The fire was ignited by spraying petrol from a helicopter. Ground-based temperature sensors were used to study soil erosion. Various airborne experiments included smoke sampling & high-altitude infrared imaging from a converted U-2 spyplane.
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