Nuclear blast. Image Source: IANS

December 31 : With the world speculating and fearing that the United States and Russia may consider waging a nuclear war in the coming years, a Rutgers University-led study revealed how the world would get impacted and suffer from it.

The study supported the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty passed by the United Nations in July 2017. It is the first legally binding international agreement with the goal for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. As of November 25, 2019, 34 nations have ratified the treaty. However, for the treaty to come into effect, signature and ratification by at least 50 countries is required. The United States, which has still not signed the treaty, will take a decision when the number will hit 50.

The Rutgers University study is authored by Joshua Coupe, a Rutgers doctoral student, and co-author by Alan Robock, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. The scientists based their study on a modern climate model to ascertain the climatic impacts of a nuclear war between the two major nations of the world. The new climate model has been taken from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which has been compared with a NASA model used by a Robock-led team 12 years ago.

What the study revealed

The study said if the United States and Russia wage a nuclear war, the majority of the land in the Northern Hemisphere would freeze even in the summer months. The summer season in the area will be reduced by about 90 percent. The study revealed that major famine would strike the whole world and the disaster will threaten nearly the entire population of the world, which is about 7.7 billion.

The scientists believe that a nuclear war can set out 150 million tons of black smoke from fires in cities particularly in industrial areas into the lower and upper atmosphere. This black smoke will linger for months to years and block sunlight from coming into the Earth, leading to a 12 month long freezing climate.

As the atmosphere will get heated, it will lead to the growth of smoke particles and ozone destruction. This the study names as a “nuclear winter”, which will lead to catastrophic consequences. A nuclear winter takes place when black carbon called soot forms in the upper atmosphere, blocking sunlight from entering the Earth. This will immediately lead to plummeting of the global average surface temperatures by more than 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

The study concluded that the only sensible action that the world can take to save the Earth from this destruction is to eliminate nuclear weapons completely.

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