During the heyday of the Cold War, the United States tested its nuclear arsenal in the Pacific. Between 1946 and 1958, the US threw a total of 67 nuclear bombs on islands and reefs in the South Pacific to play their muscles in the direction of the Soviet Union. The consequences, however, are not yet complete and may amount to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years.
New research has revealed that high levels of isotopes such as chlorine-36 are still buried in Antarctic snow.
Chlorine-36 is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope which, however, as in all radioactive substances, can be carcinogenic in abundance.
The isotope in this case is a by-product of the atomic bombs dropped as argon, which was pumped into the atmosphere, which reacted with cosmic rays to give chlorine-36.
In the following decades, she arrived in the Antarctic, where researchers discovered 1
Mélanie Baroni, a geoscientist at the European Center for Research and Education in Earth Sciences and Environment in Aix-en-Provence, France, and co-author of the new study, said: "There is no chlorine in the global atmosphere.
"Therefore, the natural level of Chlorine 36 should be observed everywhere.
Ms. Baroni and her colleagues took samples from the snow pit in Vostok, a Russian research station in eastern Antarctica.
The team compared the samples from the same site in 1998 and 1998, and found that the radioactive property actually moves to the surface – and it will not disappear so quickly.
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"Chronic uptake of chlorine It has been shown to reduce organ and body weight in animals, especially at high doses. "
Recent research has shown, however, that radiation levels are high enough to damage the environment or life.
One explanation was: "The amount of radioactivity is too low to have an impact on the environment. The results are surprising, however, as another radioactive isotope produced by nuclear testing had already returned to the pre-bomb level in Vostok.
Studies published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres suggest that the levels of chlorine found in the snow can be helpful.
Chlor-36 can be used to date water and ice. The analysis allows researchers to determine how the Earth's climate has changed in recent decades.
In the next phase of research, the team will drill a 1.5 million year old ice core.
The determination of artificially produced chlorine-36 in snow-free zones in the last century could serve as a microcosmic example of how natural chlorine-36 has formed in snowpacks in the past 1 million years.
"The results provide additional information for future scientists who use the isotope to date the ancient ice and reveal the Earth's past climate. "