Testing Nuclear Weapons in the atmosphere results in widespread chaos, power outages, and damage/destruction of satellites
An Electromagnetic Pulse caused by the detonation is what knocked out power on earth. In addition, a radioactive belt was left in the atmosphere which caused damage to satellites as they passed through it.
"Among the megaton-range explosions at Johnson Island was the 1.4-megaton Starfish Prime blast set off via rocket at an altitude of 248 miles on July 8, 1962. "For some time thereafter," Science magazine reported nineteen years later, "physicists puzzled over a resulting series of odd occurrences. Some 800 miles away in Hawaii, streetlights had failed, burglar alarms had rung, and circuit breakers had popped open in power lines. Today, the mysterious agent is known as electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Physicists say a single nuclear detonation in near space would cover vast stretches of the earth with an EMP of 50,000 volts per meter." A few such nuclear detonations could shut down electrical power grids and communications systems for thousands of miles around."
Detonating Nuclear Weapons in the atmosphere caused destruction to communication and military satellites, power outages, widespread chaos, and an unnatural aurora borealis type effect...
Nuclear Detonations in the atmosphere also cause radioactive fallout which has been known to radiate breast milk.
Strategically placed nuclear detonations over a country could cause the country's power grid to collapse.
As much as our societies rely on power in the current age, this would cause widespread panic. Land based communications would shut down, placing a greater burden on wireless communication - which in turn, could cause outages. In addition, resources such as perishable food would go to waste. Those relying on life support would eventually run out of backup power, etc...
If nuclear weapons were strategically detonated over a country in order to achieve this effect, and were detonated in the atmosphere, wireless communications could be shut down as well due to radiation damage to satellites.
Radioactive Fallout (radioactive debris that falls from the skies long after a nuclear detonation) is another side effect of a nuclear detonation in the atmosphere. The effects of radioactive fallout have been shown to last 50 or more years from the date of detonation and have health implications for all life.
Thankfully, in 1963, citizens got together, did research, and demanded that this type of testing be stopped. They created a miracle - the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty banned testing of Nuclear Weapons in the atmosphere and oceans.
Create Today's Miracle:
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- William J. Broad. Science. May 29 - "Nuclear Pulse: Awakening to the Chaos Factor," 1981, pp. 1009-1012. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/212/4498/1009
- Hollingham, Richard. BBC. September 2015, The Cold War Nuke that Fried Satellites. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150910-the-nuke-that-fried-satellites-with-terrifying-results
- King, Gilbert. Smithsonian Magazine. August 2012 - Going Nuclear Over the Pacific, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/going-nuclear-over-the-pacific-24428997/
- Brim and Condon. Another A-Bomb Cover-up, p. 47. (print only)
- Conca, James. Forbes. January 2019 - Can Nuclear Power Plants Resist Attacks Of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)?, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2019/01/03/can-nuclear-power-plants-resist-attacks-of-electromagnetic-pulse-emp/#2a91f18270cb
- History.com Editors. History.com. August 2018 - Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/nuclear-test-ban-treaty