Science & Technology

Study Shows More Than 100 Million Dead If India and Pakistan Wage Nuclear War

More than 100 million individuals might die instantly if India and Pakistan wage a nuclear conflict, adopted by world mass hunger, based on a Rutgers co-authored examine.

“Such a conflict would threaten not solely the areas the place bombs is likely to be focused however the complete world,” mentioned Alan Robock, a Distinguished Professor within the Division of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Robock, who co-authored the study in the journal Science Advances, and different scientists, checked out a conflict situation that might happen between India and Pakistan in 2025. The neighboring nations, which each place declare and have waged a number of wars over the Kashmir territory, might have a mixed 400 to 500 nuclear weapons by then. Skirmishes proceed to this present day.

The analysis discovered that fires ignited by exploding nuclear weapons might launch 16 million to 36 million tons of soot (black carbon) in smoke that may rise into the higher ambiance, spreading all over the world inside weeks.

The soot would take in photo voltaic radiation, heating the air and boosting the smoke’s swift rise. Daylight reaching the Earth would decline by 20 to 35 %, cooling the floor by 3.6 to 9 levels Fahrenheit (2 to five levels Celsius) and lowering precipitation by 15 to 30 %, with bigger regional impacts.

Vegetation development would decline by 15 to 30 % on land and ocean productiveness would decline by 5 to fifteen %. Restoration from all these impacts would take greater than 10 years as a result of the smoke would linger within the higher ambiance.

“9 nations have nuclear weapons, however Pakistan and India are the one ones quickly growing their arsenals,” Robock mentioned. “Due to the persevering with unrest between these two nuclear-armed nations, notably over Kashmir, you will need to perceive the implications of a nuclear conflict.”

Researchers say the weapons in 2025 might vary from 15 kilotons in explosive energy – equal to fifteen,000 tons of TNT, the identical dimension because the U.S. bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 – to a couple hundred kilotons.

If India used 100 strategic weapons and Pakistan used 150, an estimated 50 to 125 million individuals might die from the direct results, with further deaths from mass hunger attainable worldwide.

“Nuclear weapons can’t be utilized in any rational situation however might be utilized by accident or on account of hacking, panic or deranged world leaders,” Robock mentioned. “The one option to stop that is to remove them.”

The outcomes present extra proof to assist the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which led to the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Robock added.

For extra on this examine, learn India-Pakistan Nuclear War Could Kill 125 Million, Threaten Global Starvation.


Scientists on the College of Colorado, Boulder, led the examine, and Rutgers analysis affiliate Lili Xia contributed to it. Different contributors work on the U.S. Nationwide Heart for Atmospheric Analysis; Federation of American Scientists; Pure Assets Protection Council; College of Texas Rio Grande; and College of California at Los Angeles.

Reference: “Quickly increasing nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and world disaster” by Owen B. Toon, Charles G. Bardeen, Alan Robock, Lili Xia, Hans Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie, R. J. Peterson, Cheryl S. Harrison, Nicole S. Lovenduski and Richard P. Turco, 2 October 2019, Science Advances.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay5478
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