A nuclear war would disrupt the global climate so badly that billions of people could starve to death, according to what experts are calling the most expansive modeling to date of so-called nuclear winter. Although the exact effects remain uncertain, the findings underscore the dangers of nuclear war and offer vital insights about how to prepare for other global disasters, researchers say.
The study comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put the world in “one of the top three most worrisome time periods” for the threat of nuclear war, says Seth Baum, executive director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute—behind only the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1983 Able Archer incident, when the Soviet Union mistook a NATO military exercise for a real attack. “It’s a continued reminder that [nuclear war] is really terrible.”
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