Friday, November 12, 2021

[lbibtwcc] nature recovering after the nuclear apocalypse

pessimistically, suppose humanity fulfills its destiny and irradiates the entire planet with salted nuclear weapons.  what areas will recover first, decontaminating by natural processes?  for simplicity, assume humans go extinct.  does other life survive?  (i'm guessing yes, e.g., cockroaches.)  what natural processes, geological or biological (life finds a way), clean up radioactive fallout?  no previous mass extinction has had to deal with radioactivity.

volcanoes bury fallout.  anything that sinks to the deepest parts of the oceans probably stays there for a while, maybe even gets subducted.  some biological organisms concentrate radioactive substances, leaving their surroundings cleaner, but there remains the problem of what happens after the biological organism dies: entropy is a tough opponent.

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