What will happen if a nuclear war breaks out between the United StatesandRussia? Have your ever thought of such a scenario? A group of scientists in their new revelation points out that more than five billion people would die of hunger following a full-scale nuclear war between the two countries.
Rutgers climate scientists led the study. that estimates post-conflict crop production. The study was conducted with scholars at institutions around the world, includingUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Louisiana State University, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Columbia University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Colorado Boulder, and Queensland University of Technology.
Co-author of the study Alan Robock said that the data showed that the world must prevent a nuclear war from ever happening. He is a Distinguished Professor of climate science in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. Lili Xia, an assistant research professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers,is lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Food.
Building on past research, the researchers calculated how much Sun-blocking soot would enter the atmosphere from firestorms ignited by the detonation of nuclear weapons. They calculated soot dispersal from six war scenarios – five smaller India-Pakistan wars and the US-Russia war – based on the size of each country’s nuclear arsenal.
They then entered into the Community Earth System Model, a climate forecasting tool supported by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The NCAR Community Land Model made it possible to estimate productivity of major crops (maize, rice, spring wheat and soybean) on a country-by-country basis. The researchers also examined projected changes to livestock pasture and in global marine fisheries.
NUCLEAR- CROP DECLINE
The researchers noted that under even the smallest nuclear scenario, a localized war between India and Pakistan, global average caloric production decreased 7 percent within five years of the conflict. In the largest war scenario tested – a full-scale U.S.-Russia nuclear conflict – global average caloric production decreased by about 90 percent three to four years after the fighting.
They noted that crop declines would be the most severe in the mid-high latitude nations. This includes major exporting countries such as Russia and the US.
The study claimed that a even a seven percent global decline in crop yield would exceed the largest anomaly ever recorded since the beginning of Food and Agricultural Organization observational records in 1961. Under the largest war scenario, more than 75 percent of the planet would be starving within two years.
Further, Xia said the ozone layer would be destroyed by the heating of the stratosphere, producing more ultraviolet radiation at the surface, and we need to understand that impact on food supplies.
Robock said researchers already have more than enough information to know that a nuclear war of any size would obliterate global food systems, killing billions of people in the process.
“If nuclear weapons exist, they can be used, and the world has come close to nuclear war several times,” Robock said. “Banning nuclear weapons is the only long-term solution. The five-year-old UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been ratified by 66 nations, but none of the nine nuclear states. Our work makes clear that it is time for those nine states to listen to science and the rest of the world and sign this treaty,” he said.
On August 1, 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “humanity was “just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.” He said this as geopolitical tensions reach new highs, and some governments are spending billions on nuclear weapons in a false bid for peace and security. “Geopolitical tensions are reaching new highs. Competition is trumping co-operation and collaboration. Distrust has replaced dialogue and disunity has replaced disarmament. States are seeking false security in stockpiling and spending hundreds of billions of dollars on doomsday weapons that have no place on our planet,” he said.
Currently, almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals around the world, he added.
“All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening. And when crises — with nuclear undertones — are festering, From the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula. To the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and to many other factors around the world.”