A nuclear war involving less than 3% of global stockpiles may kill one-third of the world’s population in two years, according to a new international study led by scientists at Rutgers University.
According to the Rutgers University study, a greater nuclear battle between Russia and the United States might kill three-fourths of the world’s population in the same time frame. More than 5 billion people would starve in the event of a full-scale nuclear war between the United States and Russia.
This significant global research indicates that even a little confrontation between two nations involving nuclear weapons would result in widespread starvation.
Even a small-scale trade between countries like India and Pakistan might have disastrous effects on global food supplies and result in mass mortality throughout the planet.
Researchers calculated the amount of ash produced by nuclear conflicts of various sizes, as well as the impact on food production when large cities in India, Pakistan, the United States, or Russia burned.
Furthermore, three to four years after the nuclear exchange, global food, animal, and fishery yields would have dropped by 90 percent, spreading starvation, disruption, and collapse and triggering additional feedback loops.
Six alternative nuclear war scenarios were researched by academic scientists. According to the study published in the journal Nature Food, a full-scale confrontation between the US and Russia would wipe out more than half of humanity in the worst-case scenario.
The results come at a time when, 30 years after the Cold War’s conclusion, the potential of nuclear war may be greater than ever.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also warned that “the prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.”
The researchers hypothesised that the detonation of even a tiny proportion of the world’s nuclear weapons would cause large firestorms that would swiftly inject sun-blocking soot into the sky, causing an abrupt cooling of the climate.
Researchers used climate models to predict how much smoke would reach the stratosphere, where there is no precipitation to wash it away, and how this would affect temperature, precipitation, and sunshine.
They then assessed how these changes would effect agricultural productivity and how fish would react to changes in the ocean.
As a result, they predicted that tens of millions of deaths in the battle zone would be followed by hundreds of millions of deaths from starving across the world.