New scientific research from Japan puts forward that the stagnation in global warming in the mid twentieth century was caused by the atmospheric nuclear testing carried out between 1945 and 1980. It seems that nuclear winter actually occurred, although on just a small scale.
The study by Yoshiaki Fujii from Hokkaido University has been published online in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics on 19 January.
The abstract for the study -
The Role of Atmospheric Nuclear Explosions on the Stagnation of Global Warming in the Mid 20th Century says:
This study suggests that the cause of the stagnation in global warming in the mid 20th century was the atmospheric nuclear explosions detonated between 1945 and 1980. The estimated GST drop due to fine dust from the actual atmospheric nuclear explosions based on the published simulation results by other researchers (a single column model and Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model) has served to explain the stagnation in global warming. Atmospheric nuclear explosions can be regarded as full-scale in situ tests for nuclear winter. The non-negligible amount of GST drop from the actual atmospheric explosions suggests that nuclear winter is not just a theory but has actually occurred, albeit on a small scale.
A similar paper by Yoshiaki Fujii from June 2009 - Influence of Atmospheric Nuclear Explosions on Climate Change (PDF) outlines the similar argument, "that the 0.5K stagnation in the global-mean surface temperature (GST) between 1945 and 1976 would be due to the atmospheric nuclear explosions, namely, Gadget, Little Boy, Fat Man and the succeeding at least 422 times nuclear weapons testing between 1946 and 1980."
The stagnation of global surface temperatures mid twentieth century cannot be explained by solar activity which showed a maximum around 1950. There were no giant eruptions in this period.
I can just see the geo-engineers cracking to have a go at injecting particles in the upper atmosphere to slow global warming..
And of course the danger of nuclear war is still with us. Just a small nuclear war between India and Pakistan would produce unprecedented climate change.
A scientific explanation for Nuclear Winter and the related death of the dinosaurs by a huge asteroid impact.