The Deadly Plumes of War

The Deadly Plumes of War

Environmentalists are sounding an 11th-hour warning about the explosives that Iraqi soldiers have planted around most of Kuwait's 700 oil wells and 21 processing plants. If those devices are set off, the subsequent conflagration could create "a nuclear-winter-like situation," asserts Paul Crutzen, director of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Chemistry. Jordanian experts say the wells could burn 10 million bbl. of oil a day, releasing a vast cloud of black smoke into the stratosphere. Such a cloud has the potential to screen sunlight, reduce temperatures and damage crops throughout the northern hemisphere. Not all experts agree with the grim forecasts, contending...

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