63% of the world's population will die: scientists estimate what will happen in the event of a nuclear war between the United States and Russia - ForumDaily
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63% of the world's population will die: scientists have estimated what will happen in the event of a nuclear war between the United States and Russia

The number of victims in a nuclear conflict between the United States and Russia could potentially reach 5 billion people, or 63% of the world's population. This conclusion was reached by scientists at Rutgers University as a result of a study published in the journal nature food, writes "Ukrainian Truth".

Photo: IStock

According to the latest report from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, out of an estimated 12 nuclear warheads in the world, Russia has 705 and the US has 5, totaling 977% of the world's nuclear arsenal.

Based on previous studies, scientists have calculated that up to 165 million tons of soot could enter the Earth's atmosphere due to large-scale fires that can break out as a result of the use of nuclear weapons. At the same time, the projected duration of the war in the study is 1 week.

A nuclear war will first of all pollute the soil and water near the places where nuclear weapons are used. The soot will dissipate around the world and reach the upper atmosphere. Thus, the results are of global significance.

The researchers calculated soot dispersion across six war scenarios - five smaller conflicts between India-Pakistan forces and a great US-Russian war - based on the size of each country's nuclear arsenal.

This data was then fed into a simulated earth system simulation (CESM) consisting of the atmosphere, ocean, ice, land surface, carbon cycle, and other components.

Scientists have found that the release of so much soot will lead to a global drop in temperature on Earth, which will cause a "nuclear winter" on the planet.

In the worst case scenario, the temperature on the Earth's surface will drop by 16°C, many crops will die because of this, which in turn will lead to global famine.

The researchers assessed the yields of crops (corn, rice, spring wheat and soybeans) in each country after a nuclear war.

"The ozone layer will be destroyed by the heating of the stratosphere, creating more ultraviolet radiation at the surface, and we need to understand this effect on food supplies," the scientists say.

Scientists also predicted negative changes in livestock pastures and global marine fisheries.

Even in the slightest nuclear scenario - a local war between India and Pakistan - the average global calorie production will drop by 7%.

In the most tested war scenario - a full-scale nuclear conflict between the US and Russia - the average global calorie production will decrease by about 90% 3-4 years after the hostilities.

Yield declines will be greatest in mid-latitude countries, including large exporting countries, which could lead to export restrictions and cause severe disruption in import-dependent countries in Africa and the Middle East.

According to scientists, these changes will lead to a catastrophic fall in global food markets.

Even a 7% global decline in crop yields would exceed the largest anomaly ever recorded since the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's observations began in 1961.

And according to the scenario of the largest war, more than 75% of the planet will die of starvation within two years.

The researchers also considered whether it was possible to make up for post-war calorie losses by using livestock crops as food for humans, but their supply would not be sufficient in the event of mass consumption.

“A ban on nuclear weapons is the only long-term solution. The 5-year UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was ratified by 66 countries, but none of the nine nuclear states,” says Alan Robock, one of the authors of the study.

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