North Korea, Donald Trump and Nuclear Bombs: How Even a Minor War Would Be an Ecological Disaster for Earth
Newsweek, Aug. 12, 2017
President Donald Trump’s vow to hit North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” is an unveiled threat to unleash America’s most potent weapons of mass destruction onto the Korean Peninsula. According to many defense analysts, the risk of nuclear confrontation over Europe and the Indian subcontinent also has increased in recent years.
Nuclear War Is Also a War on the Environment. An estimated 20 million people could die within a week from the direct effects of the nuclear bomb explosions, fires and local radiation. That alone is catastrophic—more deaths than in the entirety of World War I.
But nuclear explosions are also extremely likely to ignite fires over a large area, which coalesce and inject great volumes of soot and debris into the stratosphere. In the India-Pakistan scenario, up to 6.5 million tons of soot could be thrown into the upper atmosphere, blocking the sun and causing a significant drop in average surface temperature and precipitation across the globe, with effects that could last for more than a decade.
That ecological disruption would, in turn, badly affect global food production. According to one study, maize production in the U.S. (the world’s largest producer) would decline by an average of 12 percent over 10 years in our given scenario. In China, middle-season rice would fall by 17 percent over a decade; maize by 16 percent; and winter wheat by 31 percent. With total world grain reserves amounting to less than 100 days of global consumption, such effects would place an estimated 2 billion people at risk of famine.
Although a nuclear conflict involving North Korea and the U.S. would be smaller, given Pyongyang’s limited arsenal, many people would still die, and ecological damage would severely affect global public health for years. Additionally, any nuclear conflict between the U.S. and North Korea is likely to increase the risk of nuclear confrontation involving other states and other regions of the world.
It Gets Worse. A large-scale nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia would be far worse. Most Russian and U.S. weapons are 10 to 50 times stronger than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima. In a war involving the use of the two nations’ strategic nuclear weapons (those intended to be used away from battlefield, aimed at infrastructure or cities), some 150m tons of soot could be lofted into the upper atmosphere. That would reduce global temperatures by 8 degrees Celsius—the “nuclear winter” scenario. Under such conditions, food production would stop, and the vast majority of the human race would likely starve.
Здешние политиканы, «эксперты», подконтрольные ЦРУ СМ»И» нахваливают псевдодемократическую, якобы процветающую Америку.
Те, кто любит «наших американских (государственных) партнеров», «забывают» о грязных, злых уродах США. О таких, как коварный и крайне опасный мошенник, расист, лжец, неофашист и убийца Дональд Трамп. И о таких, как порочный Конгресс, кровавые милитаристы США, нацистские ФБР — ЦРУ, лживые американские СМ”И”…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США