nuclear winter


Definition of nuclear winter

: the chilling of climate that is hypothesized to be a consequence of nuclear war and to result from the prolonged blockage of sunlight by high-altitude dust clouds produced by nuclear explosions

Examples of nuclear winter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Warmest nuclear winter ever recorded in Northern Hemisphere. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, "Once and Future Prince," 14 Oct. 2019 The newspaper covered topics including survival in a nuclear winter, and how to deal with depressed teens who watch the TV special. Peter Hartlaub,, "Black and white and dread all over: Chronicle covers from almost apocalypses," 3 Oct. 2019 The new research used a new model known as Community Earth System Model-Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model—version 4 and found that a nuclear winter, lasting several years, would result in a severe global temperature drop. Fox News, "'Nuclear winter' coming? Nuclear war between US and Russia would cause catastrophic event, study confirms," 21 Aug. 2019 But as Halloran points out, that number doesn't even take into account the nuclear winter that could devastate crops around the world and lead to a massive famine after such a war. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "How Many People Would Die in an All-Out Nuclear War?," 11 Aug. 2017 What if, instead of climate change or nuclear winter, we were delivered that deus ex machina? New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Asteroid Day," 20 June 2018 Recent climate modeling shows that a relatively limited nuclear exchange would result in a nuclear winter lasting 2-3 years. Beatrice Fihn, Time, "Ending War Games With South Korea Isn't a 'Stunning Concession.' It's the Best Thing to Come Out of the Summit So Far," 13 June 2018 What followed were global wildfires, years of nuclear winter and acid rain. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How the Ancestors of Birds Survived the Dino-Killing Asteroid," 24 May 2018 Toronto was working with a friendly cap environment and had room to build out the supporting cast; Portland's roster is already incredibly expensive and the rest of the league is creeping toward financial nuclear winter. Andrew Sharp,, "NBA Playoff Lessons: Bad News For The Blazers, The Rule For Modern Big Men, And More," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nuclear winter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nuclear winter

1983, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for nuclear winter

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The first known use of nuclear winter was in 1983

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Statistics for nuclear winter

Last Updated

23 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nuclear winter.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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