Also der Begriff "Nuclear Holocaust" als Beschreibung eines globalen Atomkrieges ist duchaus geläufig im englischen Sprachraum und ganz genau genommen sogar älter als "der Holocaust" als Bezeichnung für den Völkermord der Nazis an den europäischen Juden.
A nuclear holocaust, nuclear apocalypse or atomic holocaust is a theoretical scenario where the mass detonation of nuclear weapons causes globally widespread destruction and radioactive fallout. Under such a scenario, large parts of the Earth are made uninhabitable by nuclear warfare, potentially causing the collapse of civilization and, in the worst case, the destruction of earth.
Besides the immediate destruction of cities by nuclear blasts, the potential aftermath of a nuclear war could involve firestorms, a nuclear winter, widespread radiation sickness from fallout, and/or the temporary loss of much modern technology due to electromagnetic pulses. Some scientists, such as Alan Robock, have speculated that a thermonuclear war could result in the end of modern civilization on Earth, in part due to a long-lasting nuclear winter. In one model, the average temperature of Earth following a full thermonuclear war falls for several years by 7 - 8 °C (13 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit) on average.
Early Cold War-era studies suggested that billions of humans would survive the immediate effects of nuclear blasts and radiation following a global thermonuclear war. Some scholars[who?] argue that nuclear war could indirectly contribute to human extinction via secondary effects, including environmental consequences, societal breakdown, and economic collapse. Additionally, it has been argued that even a relatively small-scale nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan involving 100 Hiroshima yield (15 kilotons) weapons, could cause a nuclear winter and kill more than a billion people.
Since 1947, the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has visualized how close the world is to a nuclear war. As of 2021, the current time to 'midnight,' (midnight representing nuclear war,) is 100 seconds.
The threat of a nuclear holocaust plays an important role in the popular perception of nuclear weapons. It features in the security concept of mutually assured destruction (MAD) and is a common scenario in survivalism. Nuclear holocaust is a common feature in literature and film, especially in speculative genres such as science fiction, dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction.
Etymology and usage
One early use of the word "holocaust" to describe an imagined nuclear destruction appears in Reginald Glossop's 1926 novel The Orphan of Space: "Moscow ... beneath them ... a crash like a crack of Doom! The echoes of this Holocaust rumbled and rolled ... a distinct smell of sulphur ... atomic destruction." In the novel, an atomic weapon is planted in the office of the Soviet dictator, who, with German help and Chinese mercenaries, is preparing the takeover of Western Europe.
References to nuclear destruction often speak of "atomic holocaust" or "nuclear holocaust.” For instance, U.S. President Bush stated in August 2007: "Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust".