TECH & SCIENCE
Predictive analytics assesses an India-Pakistan nuclear war
ByDr. Tim Sandle
PublishedOctober 14, 2019
A new study, from University of Colorado at Boulder, shows that a nuclear war between India and Pakistan would, over less than a week, kill 50-125 million people. This short persuade of time would exceed the death toll during the entire time period of World War II (a six year period of global conflict).
To arrive at these figures, the researchers used predictive analytics and computer modelling. Inputs into the model included geographies, populations and the statistic that India and Pakistan each possess around 150 nuclear warheads. The model also looked slightly into the future, noting that the number of weapons is expected to rise to more than 200 by 2025.
It is difficult to assess how powerful each bomb would be, given the lack of nuclear testing in recent years. Furthermore, much depends where each weapon is directed. However, it is predicted that each weapon could kill up to 700,000 people.
According to lead researcher Dr. Brian Toon: “An India-Pakistan war could double the normal death rate in the world. This is a war that would have no precedent in human experience.”
Beyond the immediate impact, there are risks that a nuclear conflict could plunge the entire planet into a severe cold spell, here temperatures could mirror those seen during the last Ice Age (the theoretical ‘nuclear winter‘).
These findings were based on running computer simulations relating to potential effects on the Earth’s atmosphere, with some of the data drawn from readings relating to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945.
In relation to the impact of the weapon son the climate, each weapon fired could release 80 billion pounds of thick, black smoke into Earth’s atmosphere. The loss of temperature is the effect of blocking out sunlight.
The research has been published in the journal Science Advances, with the research paper titled “Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe.”
In this article:
nuclear war
,
nuclear weapons
,
nuclear winter
,
predictive analytics
WRITTEN BY
Dr. Tim Sandle
Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.
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