From the diary of Dr Thompson
I warned them about the catastrophic consequences of a nuclear war on the earth’s atmosphere and climate, but they did not listen. As with many situations in life, greed and ego overwhelmed common sense. This time, however, man’s follies have not just resulted in a war. This time, they have brought mankind to its knees.
It did not take long for the world to transition to one of perpetual darkness as the nuclear winter set in. I knew it was coming when I learned about the numerous and immense fireballs caused by the exploding nuclear warheads. The fireballs resulted in massive fires as office blocks, warehouses, houses, churches and schools all burned. Outside the cities, the woods and farmlands burst into bright, yet devastating, flames.
From the second floor window of my home I watched this great and uncontrolled burning. Thick and choking plumes of soot and smoke billowed into the blue sky, where it mixed with the copious fine dust raised by the explosion, and turned it black and grey. The widespread destruction of the transport infrastructure in the city meant that, on the assumption that there was any formalised firefighting capacity left after the explosion, no-one could travel by vehicle or train around the outer circumference of the city. The inner city, which had taken the direct hit of the blast, no longer existed. There was no-one to fight the fires.
I am watching my hypothesis on a nuclear winter becoming reality. It is already perpetually dark and the intense cold has set in. In my mind’s eye I visualised the terrific heat of the fires lifting the clouds of smoke higher and higher into the atmosphere. I imagined them drifting on the strong west-to-east winds until they formed a uniform covering of particles encircling the Northern Hemisphere, which blocked out all but a fraction of the sun’s light. I know that the lack of sunlight will have caused large horizontal and vertical temperature gradients which would have accelerated the transport of particles and radioactivity from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. I have assumed it will have occurred this way as I did not hear of any nuclear explosions outside of the Northern Hemisphere before the communications networks went down. The temperatures on the surface of the earth have already plunged and this, together with the nuclear fallout, will destroy a great deal of the animal and plant life.
In my scientific paper on a nuclear war, I made an assumption that approximately three to four billion people would survive the initial blasts and the radioactivity. I anticipated this figure would decrease significantly due to starvation, exposure to the cold and disease resulting from the nuclear winter that would follow.
I know I am dying but rather than die from radiation poisoning, I am allowing myself to gradually die of exposure. This seems a better way to go and I don’t have any weapons in my house to hasten my death by any other means.
Thank you, Sue Vincent, for providing another great prompt that fits in perfectly with my current Nuclear Winter theme. You can join in this prompt here: https://scvincent.com/2019/05/23/thursday-photo-prompt-transition-writephoto/