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Science & Technology

WWII bombs sent shockwaves to edge of space

By T.K. Randall
October 1, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments



The bombs had an unintended impact on the atmosphere. Image Credit: PD - Ministry of Information
It turns out that the devastating bombing raids of World War II damaged more than just targets on the ground.
The violent bombing campaigns carried out by both the Allies and the Axis during the Second World War were undeniably devastating and ended the lives of countless thousands of innocent civilians.

But it wasn't just cities and towns that were damaged in these attacks - new research has revealed that these intense bombings also had an impact on our planet's atmosphere.

According to a new study by the European Geosciences Union, some of the shockwaves produced by the explosions reached 1,000km up in to the sky, weakening the Earth's ionosphere.
"The images of neighborhoods across Europe reduced to rubble due to wartime air raids are a lasting reminder of the destruction that can be caused by manmade explosions," said Professor Chris Scott.

"But the impact of these bombs way up in the Earth's atmosphere has never been realized until now."

It is hoped that the research will help to teach us more about how natural phenomena such as lightning, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can impact the planet's upper atmosphere.

"Each raid released the energy of at least 300 lightning strikes," said Scott. "The sheer power involved has allowed us to quantify how events on the Earth's surface can also affect the ionosphere."

Source: Indepedent | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
Troposphere The troposphere starts at the Earth's surface and extends 8 to 14.5 kilometers high (5 to 9 miles). This part of the atmosphere is the most dense. Almost all weather is in this region. Stratosphere The stratosphere starts just above the troposphere and extends to 50 kilometers (31 miles) high. The ozone layer, which absorbs and scatters the solar ultraviolet radiation, is in this layer. Mesosphere The mesosphere starts just above the stratosphere and extends to 85 kilometers (53 miles) high. Meteors burn up in this layer Thermosphere The thermosphere starts just above the mesospher... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by and then 4 years ago
For shockwaves to be propagated, surely the air density has to be sufficient?  
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer 4 years ago
Could this be I proved my preconceived notion?
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
Yes, dependant on 2 things... - Atmospheric density  - Intensity of origin shockwave
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
Just for note, "shockwaves" can be extremely dangerous. They differ from "normal sonic waves" very substantially. A normal "push-wave" moves in direct linear motion to event. A "shock-wave" is vastly different... it expresses propagation in a spherical or partially spherical dynamic.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
The U.S. dropped a total of 635,000 tons of bombs, including 32,557 tons of napalm, on Korea. By comparison, 503,000 tons were dropped in the Pacific theater during World War II, 864,000 tons were dropped on North Vietnam through December 31, 1967 during Operation Rolling Thunder, and 500,000 tons were dropped on Cambodia from 1969 to 1973. I think if WW2 bombing got some effect...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Habitat 4 years ago
How ridiculous to emphasise the impact of bombing on empty space, when the effects of the ground, don't even bear thinking about. 


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