What would happen if all the nuclear bombs available to each major power exploded? A real existential question not so ridiculous in the current global geopolitical context.
Remember, in April 2015 we mentioned the online application Nukemap allowing you to simulate a nuclear attack on a map and see the effects. When the little human beings that we are come to think of a possible third world war, it could only be nuclear.
In this case, we also assume that humanity won’t be around for very long, which is very fair. A popular science site called I Fucking Love Science looked into the matter and its members calculated the magnitude of a global nuclear explosion.
The reasoning, anything but reassuring, has nevertheless chosen to take into account “only” the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the United States. Together, these two countries have a total of 13,800 bombs (7,000 for the United States and 6,000 for Russia), or 95% of the world total. In their calculation, the members of the site considered that all of these bombs were of the B83 type, a model 49 times more powerful than the one that ravaged the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
The results of the calculations are instructive. Indeed, if we distribute all the bombs equitably on the surface of the planet and detonate them all simultaneously, the Earth’s envelope would be reduced by 94 km3 in an instant! It would also be 232,000 km2 of human constructions that would go up in smoke, the equivalent of 295 cities as large as New York.
As far as the human toll is concerned, it’s not very pretty either: all the earthlings located on this cumulative surface of 5.8 million km2 would suffer in the best of cases from third degree burns. Add to that hundreds of millions of people who would die within an hour of the explosion, or even several billions.
The few survivors will have to make do with the nuclear winter which will then set in: a kind of gigantic radioactive cloud also composed of tons of stirred up dust, all clearly preventing the sun’s rays from passing through. Thus, this post-apocalyptic environment would leave little time for survivors plagued by radioactive air and rain, as well as a perpetual freezing night.
Sources: I Fucking Love Science – Konbini