Every geopolitical analyst is currently observing and studying the developments that are occurring along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan. Any major flare-up in flighting between both countries could ignite a nuclear war that would kill hundreds of millions and trigger global cooling.
The scenario for nuclear armageddon between India and Pakistan was highlighted in a report by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com titled Pakistani Kashmir Chief: Standoff With India May Spark Nuclear Armageddon.
Now, a new report in Science Advances, titled Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe, has modeled what a nuclear war could look like between both countries.
"Pakistan and India may have 400 to 500 nuclear weapons by 2025 with yields from tested 12- to 45-kt values to a few hundred kilotons. If India uses 100 strategic weapons to attack urban centers and Pakistan uses 150, fatalities could reach 50 to 125 million people, and nuclear-ignited fires could release 16 to 36 Tg of black carbon in smoke, depending on yield," the study said.
Alan Robock, a professor in environmental sciences at Rutgers University who co-authored the paper, said more than 100 million deaths on both sides of the LoC could be seen, followed by global mass starvation and global cooling.
"The smoke will rise into the upper troposphere, be self-lofted into the stratosphere, and spread globally within weeks. Surface sunlight will decline by 20 to 35%, cooling the global surface by 2° to 5°C and reducing precipitation by 15 to 30%, with larger regional impacts. Recovery takes more than 10 years. Net primary productivity declines 15 to 30% on land and 5 to 15% in oceans threatening mass starvation and additional worldwide collateral fatalities," the study continued.
Some of the most dangerous hot flashes in decades between India and Pakistan have been seen this year. We've documented several instances earlier this year, where both countries were on the brink of a major conflict. The first was in February when Pakistan shot down Indian fighter jets. There have been other examples of flare-ups this summer. One example was when India decided to cluster bomb Pakistan several months ago.
Earlier this month, Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warned that the situation on the LoC in the Jammu and Kashmir region continues to deteriorate and risks sparking an "accidental war."
Qureshi was speaking on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Sept. 13. He told journalists that Pakistan and India "understand the consequences of a conflict". But added that "an accidental war" cannot be ruled out. "… If the situation persists ... then anything is possible," he said.
Robock noted, in the event of nuclear war, Pakistan is likely to pull the trigger first. Based on their models, at least 125 million people could be killed if both countries expended their nuclear arsenal on one another.
In one model, researchers used 100-kiloton weapons on the LoC, which are more than six times more powerful than what was dropped on Hiroshima.
Models showed that a single airburst from a 100-kiloton weapon could instantly kill 2 million people across the LoC and injure 1.5 million. The explosions would trigger firestorms of which the world has never seen before.
"India would suffer two to three times more fatalities and casualties than Pakistan because, in our scenario, Pakistan uses more weapons than India and because India has a much larger population and more densely populated cities," researchers said.
Robock said the firestorms would release 16 million to 36 million tons of soot (black carbon) into the atmosphere that could cool the planet by 3.6 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit. In such an event, this would trigger global cooling and lead to worldwide food shortages.
All eyes on the LoC for the possibility of an "accidental war" by 2025.
While the events on the LoC this year have certainly been unprecedented, we now know more than 100 million people could die, and global cooling could be triggered if nuclear armageddon between India and Pakistan is seen.