In­dia-Pak­istan nu­clear war will lead to large-scale famine: Study


Arecent study by Physi­cians for So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity (PSR) has stated that an In­dia-Pak­istan nu­clear war may see the use of about 100 Hiroshima-size bombs – about half of In­dia and Pak­istan’s nu­clear ar­se­nals. new study says that a nu­clear ex­change on such a scale would “prob­a­bly cause the end (of) mod­ern in­dus­trial civil­i­sa­tion as we know it” by sub­ject­ing about two bil­lion peo­ple to the risk of star­va­tion, and caus­ing mas­sive eco­nomic and so­cial dis­rup­tions far away from the the­atre of war. Among the con­se­quences of a nu­clear ex­change: Chi­nese win­ter wheat pro­duc­tion could de­cline by 50 per cent dur­ing the first year and by more than 30 per cent over ten years; there would be a 21 per cent de­cline in Chi­nese mid­dle-sea­son rice pro­duc­tion dur­ing the first four years and an av­er­age 10 per cent de­cline in the fol­low­ing six years; corn and soy­bean pro­duc­tion in the United States would de­cline by 10 per cent on av­er­age for ten years.

The 2012 study by PSR pre­dicted that an In­dia-Pak­istan nu­clear war could put more than one bil­lion peo­ple at risk of star­va­tion. The more re­cent study, re­leased last month, ad­justs this fig­ure and cal­cu­lates that an In­dia-Pak­istan nu­clear war would put more than two bil­lion peo­ple at risk. The up­dated anal­y­sis in­cludes a study that shows that Chi­nese win­ter wheat pro­duc­tion could de­cline by 50 per cent dur­ing the first year and by more than 30 per cent over ten years. In­creas­ing crop prices due to a re­duc­tion of sup­ply would worsen food short­ages.

“Sig­nif­i­cant, sus­tained agri­cul­tural short­falls over an ex­tended pe­riod would al­most cer­tainly lead to panic and hoard­ing on an in­ter­na­tional scale as food ex­port­ing na­tions sus­pended ex­ports in or­der to as­sure ad­e­quate food sup­plies for their own pop­u­la­tions,” the re­port says. “This tur­moil in the agri­cul­tural mar­kets would fur­ther re­duce ac­ces­si­ble food.”

The chain of events which would lead to the catas­tro­phe de­scribed in the re­port be­gins with firestorms caused by nu­clear det­o­na­tions. Th­ese det­o­na­tions would send more than six mil­lion tonnes of soot into the at­mos­phere, shut­ting out sun­light and cre­at­ing a global cool­ing ef­fect sci­en­tists call “nu­clear win­ter.”

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