A nuclear war between Russia and NATO could render the northern hemisphere completely uninhabitable and unviable for agriculture, say New Zealand scientists. In such a case, only five island states would have a chance of surviving a nuclear winter.
New Zealand is one of the few island nations that could still produce enough food to feed its population in the event of a nuclear winter. This was determined by researchers at the University of Otago. With a nuclear war between Russia and NATO and most of the world’s warheads detonated, 150 teragrams of soot could pollute the atmosphere, they warned. This would reduce agricultural production by 80 percent on the planet and by as much as 100 percent in the northern hemisphere.
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The devastating effects of a nuclear winter would last 5 to 10 years. According to the scientists, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands will be able to grow their own crops despite falling temperatures and less sunshine. This means these countries have a chance of surviving a nuclear winter and feeding their populations.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres had previously warned that the doomsday clock was closer to global catastrophe than ever before. He noted:
“The doomsday clock shows 90 seconds until midnight, until to total global catastrophe. The pointer is closer than ever to mankind’s darkest hour.”
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He therefore called for action: “Frankly, the doomsday clock is a global alarm clock. We have to wake up and get to work,” emphasized the UN Secretary-General.
The doomsday clock first appeared on the cover of the magazine in 1947 The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The remaining time until midnight symbolizes the international tensions, midnight stands for the time of the nuclear catastrophe. After hydrogen bombs were tested in the US and USSR in 1953, the clock hands were set to two minutes to midnight.
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