Publication Abstracts

Xia et al. 2021, submitted

Xia, L., A. Robock, K. Scherrer, C. Harrison, J. Jägermeyr, C. Bardeen, O. Toon, and R. Heneghan, 2021: Global famine after nuclear war. Nat. Food, submitted.

In a nuclear war, bombs targeted on cities and industrial areas would start firestorms, injecting large amounts of soot into the upper atmosphere, which would spread globally and rapidly cool the planet. The soot loadings would cause decadal disruptions in Earth's climate, which would impact food production systems on land and in the oceans. In 1980s, investigations of nuclear winter impacts on global agricultural production and food availability for 15 nations, but new information now allows us to update those estimates. Recently, several studies analyzed changes of major grain crops and marine wild-catch fisheries for different scenarios of regional nuclear war using sophisticated models. However, the impact on the total food supply available to humans is more complex. Here we show that considering all food sources and potential adaptation measures, such as using animal feed directly for humans, famine would result for most of Earth even from a war between India and Pakistan using less than 3% of the global nuclear arsenal. We look at the climate impacts from a range of scales from regional to global nuclear war, and estimate the total amount of food calories available in each nation, including crops, livestock, and fisheries, for each year following a nuclear holocaust. Our findings quantify the global indirect impacts of nuclear war away from target areas, and demonstrate the need to prevent any scale of nuclear war.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Xia, L. and Robock, A. and Scherrer, K. and Harrison, C. and Jägermeyr, J. and Bardeen, C. and Toon, O. and Heneghan, R.},
  title={Global famine after nuclear war},
  journal={Nat. Food},
  note={Manuscript submitted for publication}

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RIS Citation

ID  - xi08000i
AU  - Xia, L.
AU  - Robock, A.
AU  - Scherrer, K.
AU  - Harrison, C.
AU  - Jägermeyr, J.
AU  - Bardeen, C.
AU  - Toon, O.
AU  - Heneghan, R.
PY  - 2021
TI  - Global famine after nuclear war
JA  - Nat. Food
ER  -

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