Iraqi forces, on the orders of Saddam Hussein, set fire to more than seven hundred oil wells in Kuwait. Later estimates indicate that about $40 billion worth of oil was lost as a result. But the greatest harm was not done to the economy. Scientists quickly realized that if the oil wells were to continue burning, the planet would be facing a nuclear winter: rays of the sun would no longer be reaching the surface through the smoke-filled atmosphere, and a rapid cooling would result. Top firefighters from all over the world arrived to the Kuwait lands liberated from the Iraqis. They received the exact coordinates of the burning oil wells through the Soviet missile approach warning system – it helped find the first 12 wells based on their the heat trail. Luckily, the work in hell, as it became known among the participants, was quickly over.
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