Researchers have developed a terrifying simulation that shows how an escalating nuclear war between the United States/NATO and Russia would play out.
The simulation of the model according to MailOnline report is based on realistic data on nuclear force postures, targets and causality estimates predicts that 34.1 million people would die within hours.
The catastrophic conflict would leave another 55.9 million injured figures which do not include subsequent deaths from nuclear fallout and other effects.
In the first three hours alone, Europe would be devastated and an estimated 2.6 million people would be either killed or injured.
The following 90 minutes would see key cities in both the US and Russia hit with 5–10 nuclear bombs each, leaving another 88.7 million dead or injured.
Many countries in the model appear to escape being the direct target of a nuke such as those in the southern hemisphere, and Scotland.
However, the effects of the nuclear fallout and longer-term impacts on the Earth’s climate, population and food production would have wide-ranging effects.
The team behind the video hope that the simulation will highlight the apocalyptic consequences and cost to humanity of nuclear war between the two blocs.
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The four-minute video was created by engineering and international affairs expert Alex Glaser of Princeton University and colleagues, MailOnline reported.
The simulation, dubbed ‘Plan A’, was drawn up based on various independent assessments of current US and Russian military postures, nuclear war plans and corresponding weapons targets.
It included extensive data on the number of nuclear weapons currently deployed, bomb yields and the order in which such a war would likely progress.
A nuclear war would likely evolve from an initial phase of tactical targeting through to a strategic period intended to take out each side’s offensive nuclear capacity.
Finally, a phase of targeting key cities to impede opposition recovery would begin.
‘It is estimated that there would be more than 90 million people dead and injured within the first few hours of the conflict,’ the researchers wrote.
The simulation begins within the context of a conventional, non-nuclear conflict.
Highlighting the scenario, MailOnline reported that Russia fires a nuclear warning shot from a base near Kaliningrad, on the Black Sea, with the aim of halting a US–NATO advance.
In response, NATO hits Russia with a single tactical nuclear airstrike, from which the conflict escalates to a tactical nuclear war across Europe.
At this point, the simulation anticipates that Russia would deliver around 300 nuclear warheads — carried either by aircraft or short-range missiles — against NATO bases and advancing troops.
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The international military alliance would then respond with around 180 aircraft-borne nukes.
At this stage, casualties would be expected to reach around 2.6 million people within a three-hour period and Europe is left essentially destroyed.
Following this, NATO acts from the continental US and nuclear submarine fleets, launching a strategic nuclear strike of around 600 warheads with the aim of taking out Russia’s nuclear capability.
Before this strike hits, Russia launches nukes from its complement of missile silos, submarines and mobile launch pads.
The model projects 3.4 million casualties from this phase of the war, which would last only 45 minutes.
In the final phase of the conflict, both sides take aim at each other’s 30 most populated cities and economic centres — deploying 5–10 nukes for each one — to attempt to inhibit each side’s recovery from the war.
Such a move, the researchers conclude, would see 85.3 million casualties within the space of 45 minutes.
The total number of immediate fatalities in this scenario would exceed 34.1 million people — and does not include the subsequent deaths that would invariably result as a consequence of nuclear fallout and other related long-term effects.