A new study estimates that more than five billion people will die from hunger if there is a full-scale nuclear conflict between the US US and Russia.
According to Rutgers University climate scientists, such a conflict could have devastating effects on food production. This is what they found in a peer reviewed study published in the context the Ukraine war.
Professor Alan Roebuck, one of the authors, stated that “the data tell us one: We must prevent nuclear war from ever occurring.”
According to Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, the warning comes because “humanity one misunderstanding away from nuclear destruction“.
The Ukrainian defense intelligence agency has warned that there are new Russian provocations at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is located in southern Ukraine. A mayor claimed that the city was under fresh shelling.
Rafael Grossi, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), described recent Shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear plant to be “out of control” as well as “extremely serious”.
A new study published in Nature Food has estimated how much sun-blocking, soot would enter our atmosphere from firestorms caused by nuclear weapons detonations.
Six scenarios were considered, including five scenarios that involved nuclear arsenals of different size, five that were based on smaller conflicts with India and Pakistan, and one that was based upon a war between the US, Russia, and China.
Even the smallest of scenarios caused famine. The global average caloric output fell by 7% in five years.
The largest scenario, a full-scale nuclear conflict, saw the global average caloric output drop by around 90% in the three to four years following fighting.
A huge drop in crop yields could cause billions to starve, 75% of the world’s population within two years.
Researchers found that even the smallest of disruptions to global food markets – a drop of 7% – would be more severe than any other anomaly.
The study did not consider the impact of global production of calories. However, human survival depends on micronutrients and proteins.
According to Lili Zia (a Rutgers assistant research professor), a nuclear war would have disproportionate effects on climate change.
She stated that the heating of the stratosphere would cause the destruction of the ozone layer, which will produce more ultraviolet radiation at surface. This is why we need to study the impact on food supply.
To “calculate how food availability could change under different nuclear war scenarios”, the study employs “state-of the-art climate, crop and fishery models”.
It calculates how export restrictions could impact food availability as well as actual decreased yields of crops. It also accounts for countries that reprocess livestock feed to be used as feed for humans.
It warns that large areas of the world could be affected by famine even if there is a regional nuclear conflict.
Curiously, the researchers found that Australia’s caloric output would increase or decrease in the event of a full-scale nuke war.
The study doesn’t account for other aspects such as global food supply that could be affected by nuclear war, including availability of fertiliser and fuel.
This war could also have an impact on the infrastructure of food production. It could also increase radioactive contamination and ultra-violet radiation, which could impact food production.
UK should prepare for nuclear war
Sky News was informed by Hamish de Bretton Gordon, former head of the British Army’s radioactive, chemical and nuclear regiments.
He cautioned however that the report “describes the worst outcome, basically Armageddon, when all nuke weapons are removed – which I find highly unlikely.”
He said that the number one threat to Ukraine is an accident at Zaporizhzhia, or a Russian commander using a tactical nuke weapon.
“The first scenario could spread radioactive contamination throughout Russia and Europe, but it would not cause extreme climate changes or crop failures as detailed in this report.”
Sky News was told by him that he expected Western intelligence agencies, especially the Western ones, to pick up on the movement and transport of tactical nuclear weapons on large trucks.
He said that NATO would have called them out, and Russia knew that long-range NATO missiles could destroy these launchers before they had time to fire their missiles.
“Since the end the Cold War, one has felt a certain degree of nuclear complacency. This report and the weaponisation nuclear power stations in Ukraine are stark reminders that nuclear weapons or accidents could change the way we live.”