India, Pakistan nuclear war could span for less than a week and 'kill 50-125 million people': Study

Updated: Oct 03, 2019, 09:19 PM(IST)

The report calculates that an India-Pakistan war would lead to an injection of 80 billion pounds of thick, black smoke into the Earth’s atmosphere blocking sunlight from reaching the ground.

India, Pakistan nuke war could kill 50-125 million people

A study by the University of Colorado Boulder and Rutgers University has said an India and Pakistan nuclear war could span for less than a week and "kill 50-125 million people". The report said the death toll would be more than World War-II.

"It might also plunge the entire planet into a severe cold spell, possibly with temperatures not seen since the last Ice Age," the report asserted.

The researchers put together computer simulations of Earth's atmosphere with the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US in August 1954 in order to put together the scenario.

The report said India and Pakistan both have about 150 nuclear warheads which could climb to 200 by 2025, an attack by the nuclear powers could devastate the two countries, it noted.

(Photograph:AFP)

80 billion pounds of thick, black smoke into the Earth’s atmosphere

The report looked at the war in stages. In the first stage, the report said India and Pakistan would use up their "250 nuclear warheads over each other’s cities" killing at least 700,000 people.

The research said the people killed would not just be killed from the blasts but also from the fires after the blasts occur citing Hiroshima in which it said several thousand people died as a result of the fires which came after the bombs were dropped.

The report noted that the war would bring devastating changes in the climate, not just for the two countries but also for the world.

It calculated that an India-Pakistan war would lead to an injection of "80 billion pounds of thick, black smoke into the Earth’s atmosphere blocking sunlight from reaching the ground."

(Photograph:AFP)

The war would lead to worldwide food shortages

The research paints a grim picture of the consequences of an all out India-Pakistan nuclear war.

The devastation it says won't just lead to loss of lives but will also block sunlight from reaching the ground thereby driving down temperatures around the world by an average of "between 3.5-9 degrees Fahrenheit for several years".

It would lead to the worldwide reduction of plants on land and algae in the ocean, the report notes.

The war would lead to worldwide food shortages, it says.

(Photograph:Reuters)

India, Pak war and the China factor

The report cites a science magazine, sciencemag.org, which said neither India and Pakistan are unlikely to go to war without "substantial provocation".

The report plays out an India-Pakistan war scenario in 2025, ominously bringing China into the wargame, saying that India will keep at least "100 nuclear weapons" to deter China from entering the war.

It states that with China's influence growing in Pakistan due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) the chances of China being sucked into the conflict was quite real.

(Photograph:AFP)

Pakistan to target 'moderate and large-sized cities'

The report says that India and Pakistan’s nuclear forces in 2019 may contain "140 to 150 warheads", with a possible expansion to 200 to 250 warheads by 2025.

The report estimates that the Pakistan Air Force has nuclear-capable aircraft with ranges between 2100 km, including land-based ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.  

The report says that since India has around 400 cities, Pakistan would target "moderate and large-sized cities".

(Photograph:Zee News Network)

India to attack each moderate-or large-sized city in Pakistan

According to the magazine, Pakistan has produced "tactical nuclear weapons for use on battlefields to counter the conventional weapons advantage of an invading Indian army".

It says that since Pakistan has around 60 cities with more than 100,000 people, India could potentially attack each moderate- or large-sized city in Pakistan with two nuclear warheads.

The report notes that India has nuclear-capable aircraft including Mirage 2000H and Jaguar IS/IB, with ranges up to 1850 km including ballistic missiles.

(Photograph:AFP)

India will suffer greater casualties

The report says India will suffer greater casualties since its cities are densely populated and it has a much larger population.

In percentage terms, the report says Pakistan’s losses would be about twice that of India. Apart from the devastating loss of lives, it says that radioactive particles would attach itself to the dust particles and the particles would fall out of the atmosphere.

The exposure to radioactive particles would potentially kill several thousand people, it says.

(Photograph:AFP)

'Unfortunate example' set by US and Russia

The science magazine cautions against India and Pakistan building their nuclear arsenal comparing it with the "unfortunate example" example set by the United States and Russia during the Cold War.

It emphatically declares that the bomb blasts would trigger climatic changes not seen since the middle of the last Ice Age.

The report also says that the decision by Indian and Pakistani military leaders and politicians would not only just affect the destinies of the two countries but also affect every nation on the Earth.

(Photograph:AFP)

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