Mills and four other leading atmospheric scientists base their calculations of ozone layer destruction on five widely used computer models that scientists use to study all aspects of the world's atmosphere.
Their basic conclusions: The explosions would cause major urban fires and send as much as 5.5 million tons of soot rising above the stratosphere 50 miles high, after a million tons of it fell back to Earth as black rain. The soot, heated by smoke from the fires below, would speed up 20 or more chemical reactions, involving oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, chlorine and bromine, and create immense amounts of nitrogen oxides that would swiftly destroy ozone.
The most widespread loss of ozone would persist for up to five years, the scientists calculated, and substantial losses would continue for at least five years beyond that.
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