Would a full scale Thermonuclear War create centuries of Nuclear Winter?

This question has been closed as duplicate of this question:

Do we have enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all of humanity?

The first question is definitely not a duplicate because nuclear winter and human extinction are two different things. In nuclear winter, humans can survive.

Previously, it was closed as off-topic. People are saying that I first need to cite a claim, but if you look at this well received question:

Do we have enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all of humanity?

this says "I have heard several claims" without citing a source.

Also, talking about my question, this is not just about Matrix. Matrix type movies have actually invaded minds of people and I also hear about nuclear winter all the time.

Why can't my question be allowed on this site?

2 Answers 2


There are several problems with your questions.

A It doesn't cite a claim. Yes, the question linked also uses "I've heard" claim, but, it's a very old question, from a long long time ago when the site was yet untamed and the rules were looser.

B Even the example you provide, the Matrix, doesn't talk about thermonuclear war or about a nuclear winter, according to the Matrix cannon, humans released gases to the atmosphere to block the sun and prevent the machines from getting energy.

C As the question is asked it is opinion based. You also ask us to hypothesize about the possible outcome of events that never happened.

All those problems could be resolved by providing a notable source making the claim that will be used as an anchor to your question.

You should probably start by reading the Wikipedia article for Nuclear Winter and the sources provided there, if you still have questions, you will at the very least have sources with claims that can be cited in a question.

  • WW2 wasn't a full scale thermonuclear war.. And, in Matrix, high altitude bombers detonated atom bombs in high atmosphere..
    – user6119
    Oct 1, 2017 at 10:19
  • @user6119, Regarding the Matrix: no, they used bombers to spray nanites into the upper atmosphere source. That is what I tell you in the rest of the point you have ill-defined concepts. What is a "full-scale thermonuclear war"? WWII was a full-scale war where thermonuclear were used. The main point is that you need to find a notable source for your claim, then it will also be easier to distinguish your question from the "duplicated" question.
    – SIMEL
    Oct 1, 2017 at 10:30
  • It wasn't a thermonuclear war at all, since only fission bombs were used. Fusion bombs have a very different fuel and mechanism and they are hundreds or thousands of times more powerful, deadly and destructive.
    – Sklivvz
    Oct 1, 2017 at 17:47
  • @Sklivvz, you are right and I didn't know this. Nuclear winter doesn't require (at least according to wiki) thermonuclear weapons and could start from the use of fusion nuclear weapons. But this isn't the main point in the answer, so I removed it, the main point is that the question needs a notable claim.
    – SIMEL
    Oct 2, 2017 at 7:31
  • Carl Sagan certainly made the claim about nuclear war triggering the advent of nuclear winter, and I'd consider him a notable source. It should be pretty easy to find one of his statements. Oct 5, 2017 at 18:32
  • @kbelder, that would be a great way to improve the question. But up to now, no one, including the OP didn't bother to bring an actual claim.
    – SIMEL
    Oct 5, 2017 at 18:36

I voted to reopen the question. I think the notion that nuclear war can "end the world", aka wipe out humanity and possibly all complex life is so entrenched in popular culture that there is no real need to cite a specific claim. Just google "human extinction nuclear war" and you'll find hundreds of thousands of articles arguing the likelihood of that happening.

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