Just How Realistic is Fallout 4’s Post-Apocalypse Anyway?


 Image: Bethesda Softworks.

Image: Bethesda Softworks.
The first time you step out of the protective vault and into the irradiated wasteland of Boston in Fallout 4, taking in the devastation can be overwhelming. For two decades, the Fallout series has explored life after the bombs fell. But sorting fact from fiction in Fallout’s depiction of a world devastated by war can be tougher than you think. While radiation ravaged ghouls and burly super mutants are easily identified as works of fantasy, how much of Fallout and its post-apocalypse is based in fact?

By Steven Messner|MOTHERBOARD

Few people know more about the damaging effects of a nuclear war than Dr. Michael J Mills, a scientist working with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In 2014, Dr. Mills, along with several of his associates, published a study detailing the global climate effects of a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India using less than 1 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons. The results were terrifying.

„It really exposed the suicidal nature of a global thermonuclear war,“ Dr. Mills told me over the phone. We talked over the implications of his study which details how 100 15 kiloton detonations (bombs the size of „The Little Boy“ dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II) would impact the climate so severely the effects would be felt nearly 30 years later. While it’s easy to be distracted by the immediate devastation a nuclear bomb inflicts, the more insidious consequences can take days before they are felt in full and decades before they are ever repaired.

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