"A nuclear holocaust, nuclear apocalypse or atomic holocaust is a theoretical scenario involving widespread destruction and radioactive fallout causing the collapse of civilization, through the use of nuclear weapons. Under such a scenario, some or all of the Earth is made uninhabitable by nuclear warfare in future world wars."
Besides the immediate destruction of cities by nuclear blasts, the potential aftermath of a nuclear war could involve firestorms, a nuclear winter, widespread radiation sickness from fallout, and/or the temporary loss of much modern technology due to electromagnetic pulses. Some scientists, such as Alan Robock, have speculated that a thermonuclear war could result in the end of modern civilization on Earth, in part due to a long-lasting nuclear winter. In one model, the average temperature of Earth following a full thermonuclear war falls for several years by 7 to 8 degrees Celsius (13 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit) on average.
Nonetheless, early Cold War-era studies suggested that billions of humans would survive the immediate effects of nuclear blasts and radiation following a global thermonuclear war. Some scholars[who?] argue that nuclear war could indirectly contribute to human extinction via secondary effects, including environmental consequences, societal breakdown, and economic collapse. Additionally, it has been argued that even a relatively small-scale nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan involving 100 Hiroshima yield (15 kiloton) weapons, could cause a nuclear winter and kill more than a billion people
As of 2020, humanity has about 13,410 nuclear weapons, thousands of which are on hair-trigger alert. While stockpiles have been on the decline following the end of the Cold War, every nuclear country is currently undergoing modernization of its nuclear arsenal. Some experts believe this modernization may increase the risk of nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and accidental nuclear war
Known Nuclear Weapon Count:
In the early 1980s, scientists began to consider the effects of smoke and soot arising from burning wood, plastics, and petroleum fuels in nuclear-devastated cities. It was speculated that the intense heat would carry these particulates to extremely high altitudes where they could drift for weeks and block out all but a fraction of the sun's light
In contrast to the above investigations of global nuclear conflicts, studies have shown that even small-scale, regional nuclear conflicts could disrupt the global climate for a decade or more. In a regional nuclear conflict scenario where two opposing nations in the subtropics would each use 50 Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapons (about 15 kiloton each) on major populated centers, the researchers estimated as much as five million tons of soot would be released, which would produce a cooling of several degrees over large areas of North America and Eurasia, including most of the grain-growing regions. The cooling would last for years, and according to the research, could be "catastrophic". Additionally, the analysis showed a 10% drop in average global precipitation, with the largest losses in the low latitudes due to failure of the monsoons.
Regional nuclear conflicts could also inflict significant damage to the ozone layer. A 2008 study found that a regional nuclear weapons exchange could create a near-global ozone hole, triggering human health problems and impacting agriculture for at least a decade. This effect on the ozone would result from heat absorption by soot in the upper stratosphere, which would modify wind currents and draw in ozone-destroying nitrogen oxides. These high temperatures and nitrogen oxides would reduce ozone to the same dangerous levels we now experience below the ozone hole above Antarctica every spring.
It is difficult to estimate the number of casualties that would result from nuclear winter, but it is likely that the primary effect would be global famine (known as Nuclear Famine), wherein mass starvation occurs due to disrupted agricultural production and distribution. In a 2013 report, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) concluded that more than two billion people, about a third of the world's population, would be at risk of starvation in the event of a regional nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, or by the use of even a small proportion of nuclear arms held by the U.S. and Russia. Several independent studies show corroborated conclusions that agricultural outputs will be significantly reduced for years by climatic changes driven by nuclear wars. Reduction of food supply will be further exacerbated by rising food prices, affecting hundreds of millions of vulnerable people, especially in the poorest nations of the world.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation. Nuclear explosions create a pulse of electromagnetic radiation called a nuclear EMP or NEMP. Such EMP interference is known to be generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment. If a single nuclear weapon "designed to emit EMP were detonated 250 to 300 miles up over the middle of the country it would disable the electronics in the entire United States
Given that many of the comforts and necessities we enjoy in the 21st century are predicated on electronics and their functioning, an EMP would disable hospitals, water treatment facilities, food storage facilities, and all electronic forms of communication. An EMP blast threatens the foundation which supports the existence of the modern human condition. Certain EMP attacks could lead to large loss of power for months or years. Currently, failures of the power grid are dealt with using support from the outside. In the event of an EMP attack, such support would not exist and all damaged components, devices, and electronics would need to be completely replaced.
Nuclear fallout is the residual radioactive dust and ash propelled into the upper atmosphere following a nuclear explosion. Fallout is usually limited to the immediate area, and can only spread for hundreds of miles from the explosion site if the explosion is high enough in the atmosphere. Fallout may get entrained with the products of a pyrocumulus cloud and fall as black rain (rain darkened by soot and other particulates).
This radioactive dust, usually consisting of fission products mixed with bystanding atoms that are neutron activated by exposure, is a highly dangerous kind of radioactive contamination. The main radiation hazard from fallout is due to short-lived radionuclides external to the body. While most of the particles carried by nuclear fallout decay rapidly, some radioactive particles will have half-lives of seconds to a few months. Some radioactive isotopes, like strontium 90 and cesium 137, are very long lived and will create radioactive hot spots for up to 5 years after the initial explosion. Fallout and black rain may contaminate waterways, agriculture, and soil. Contact with radioactive materials can lead to radiation poisoning through external exposure or accidental consumption. In acute doses over a short amount of time radiation will lead to prodromal syndrome, bone marrow death, central nervous system death and gastrointestinal death. Over longer periods of exposure to radiation, cancer becomes the main health risk. Long term radiation exposure can also lead to in utero effects on human development and transgenerational genetic damage.
The largest nuclear weapon ever exploded was Russia's "super-bomb," rated at 57 megatons. Detonated in 1961, it was largely for political purposes because at the time the Soviet Union had no airplane or missile that could carry the 27 ton bomb over any great distance.
1. Officially designated RDS-220, it was called "Ivan" or "Big Ivan" in Russia (Tsar Bomba in the West), the bomb was much larger than indicated in the above picture. The man is standing twenty feet in front of it making him look larger and the weapon smaller.
2. The fireball could be seen 900 miles away and had a diameter estimated at over 5 miles.
3. The resulting mushroom cloud reached an altitude of 210,000 feet. The shock wave from the blast broke windows 800 miles away. The bomb was originally designed for a 100 megaton yield, but down sized to reduce radioactive contamination. The resulting mushroom cloud reached an altitude of 210,000 feet. The shock wave from the blast broke windows 800 miles away. The bomb was originally designed for a 100 megaton yield, but down sized to reduce radioactive contamination.
4. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs barely show up at this scale, and together they killed over 200,000 people. The average US and Russian bombs are tiny smudges. Even the mega-bombs exploded by the United States are dwarfed by Ivan. If the full sized version had been detonated over the city of Ontario in Southern California the zone of total destruction would have been 100 miles in diameter, as indicated by the yellow circle in the following image:
4a. Los Angeles and all of it's surrounding cities would have been wiped from the face of the earth, killing fifteen million people in the blink of an eye.
|COUNTRY||TESTS/NOTES ||DEVICES FIRED ||DEVICES - UNKNOWN YIELDS ||PEACEFUL USE TESTS ||NON PTBT TESTS ||YIELD RANGE [KT]||TOTAL YIELD [KT]||% BY TESTS||% BY YIELD|
|USA ||1032 ||1132||12||27 ||231||0-15,000||196,514||48.7||36.3|
|USSR ||727 ||981||246||156 ||229||0-50,000||296,837||34.4||54.9|
|UK ||88 ||88||31||0||21||0-3,000||9,282||4.15||1.72|
|FRANCE ||217 ||217||0||4 ||57||0-2,600||13,567||10.2||2.51|
|CHINA ||47 ||48||7||0||23||0-4,000||24,409||2.22||4.51|
|INDIA ||3||6||06||1 ||0-60||68||0.141||0.0126|
|PAKISTAN ||2||6 ||0||0||0||1-32||51||0.107||0.0094|
|NORTH KOREA ||6||6||0||0||0||1-250||197.8||0.283||0.024|
It's 2025 and tensions are running high between India and Pakistan.
When a terrorist attacks a site in India, that country sends tanks rolling across the border with Pakistan. As a show of force against the invading army, Pakistan decides to detonate several small nuclear bombs.
The next day, India sets off its own atomic explosions and within days, the nations begin bombing dozens of military targets and then hundreds of cities. Tens of millions of people die in the blasts.
Smoke from the incinerated cities rises high into the atmosphere, wrapping the planet in a blanket of soot that blocks the Sun’s rays. The planet plunges into a deep chill. For years, crops wither from California to China. Famine sets in around the globe.
This is a limited nuclear war, if you can call it that. The real scenario would probably be that the entire globe would become involved to some degree over time.
Within a few years of a nuclear war, a “Nuclear Niño” would roil the Pacific Ocean, says Joshua Coupe, a graduate student at Rutgers. This is a turbo-charged version of the phenomenon known as El Niño. In the case of a US–Russia nuclear war, the dark skies would cause the trade winds to reverse direction and water to pool in the eastern Pacific Ocean. As during an El Niño, droughts and heavy rains could plague many parts of the world for as long as seven years, Coupe reported last December at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
Even the relatively small India–Pakistan war would have catastrophic effects on the rest of the world, he and his colleagues report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1. Over the course of five years, maize (corn) production would drop by 13%, wheat production by 11% and soy-bean production by 17% .
The worst impact would come in the mid-latitudes, including breadbasket areas such as the US Midwest and Ukraine. Grain reserves would be gone in a year or two. Most countries would be unable to import food from other regions because they, too, would be experiencing crop failures, Jägermeyr says. It is the most detailed look ever at how the aftermath of a nuclear war would affect food supplies, he says. The researchers did not explicitly calculate how many people would starve, but say that the famine would be worse than any in documented history.
Farmers might respond by planting maize, wheat and soya beans in parts of the globe likely to be less affected by a nuclear winter, says Deepak Ray, a food-security researcher at the University of Minnesota in St Paul. Such changes might help to buffer the food shock — but only partly. The bottom line remains that a war involving less than 1% of the world’s nuclear arsenal could shatter the planet’s food supplies.
Some scenarios include a single detonation, attacks on oil refineries, attacks on military installations, and as all-out war leading to the deaths of up to 160 million Americans. I believe that number to be low in an all-out war.
I believe that sometime in the future, not sure when, that either some type of dirty bomb secured by a terroristic group, or a war between Pakistan and India, or something going really wrong in the Middle East, or the big one; a war between super powers will occur.
The cost will be considerable,, including lives lost directly and indirectly, property loss, food and crops, industry and many more.
The costs will be long term. It just won't effect us for a day or month or year. It could last many years, depending upon the extent of the war and number and types of nuclear weapons.
It has long been speculated that Russia has what's called a "Doomsday" bomb. This is a large quantity of hydrogen bombs jacketed or surrounded by something like cobalt. Why cobalt, it has a very long half life. Below is a chart of some materials and their half life's.
As you can see the food cycle would be effected for quite some time. Children would be more susceptible then adults as would persons with certain preexisting conditions and the elderly.
The other problems would be housing, medical care, fresh water and electric and all the extras that make life easy. It would all be gone. It could take years to rebuild some of the infrastructures. Don't forget about police, fire and ambulance services; almost all of them in the large cities would be devastated. They too, would have to be rebuilt.
I would not want to have to go through any of it. The best we can do is work for some type of global peace and make sure neighbor countries try and get along.