History Expects the Sixth Seal in NYC (Revelation 6:12)

According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.

A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.

Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.

There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.

He adds: “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”

Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.

The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale. (ANI)

Save the Oil (Revelation 6:6)

Putin MBS

The Inevitable Outcome Of The Oil Price War

One might reasonably posit that when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) signalled that Saudi Arabia was once again going to produce oil to the maximum to crash oil prices in a full-scale oil price war, Russian President Vladimir Putin probably fell off the horse he was riding bare-chested somewhere in Siberia because he was laughing so much. There is a phrase in Russian intelligence circles for clueless people that are ruthlessly used without their knowledge in covert operations, which is ‘a useful idiot’, and it is hard to think of anyone more ‘useful’ in this context to the Russians than whoever came up with Saudi’s latest ‘plan’. Whichever way the oil price war pans out, Russia wins.

In purely basic oil economics terms,Russia has a budget breakeven price of US$40 per barrel of Brent this year: Saudi’s is US$84. Russia can produce over 11 million barrels per day (mbpd) of oil without figuratively breaking sweat; Saudi’s average from 1973 to right now is just over 8 mbpd. Russia’s major oil producer, Rosneft, has been begging President Putin to allow it to produce and sell more oil since the OPEC+ arrangement was first agreed in December 2016; Saudi’s major oil producer, Aramco, only suffers value-destruction in such a scenario. This includes for those people who were sufficiently trusting of MbS to buy shares in Aramco’s recent IPO. Russia can cope with oil prices as low as US$25 per barrel from a budget and foreign asset reserves perspective for up to 10 years; Saudi can manage 2 years at most.

A key reason why Russia can survive for so much longer than Saudis is actually thanks to MbS himself. Underlining this – and the fact that the Russians do have a very impish sense of humour, as they do – was that Russia’s Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, last week praised the co-operation of the OPEC+ grouping over the past three years, which, he added “had earned Russia 10 trillion rubles [US$140 billion].” Presumably just to highlight the irony of this further, Russia’s Finance Ministry then helpfully chipped in that the accumulated funds from the previous OPEC+ agreements will help Russia to support the ruble and will also help Russia to cope with oil prices as low as US$25 per barrel for up to 10 years. The metaphorical icing on the cake, though, was Novak adding that “we may reach new agreements [with OPEC] if needed”. In practical terms this means that if, in fact, it takes longer than originally thought by Russia for Saudi to go bankrupt and it starts to have any negative impact on Russia, then Moscow will just click its fingers together and Riyadh will come running to sign a new OPEC+ output cap deal.

But surely, some may say, Saudi stands no chance of going bankrupt? In fact, as highlighted above, Saudi will absolutely go bankrupt if it continues this oil price war. As Saudi Arabia’s own deputy economic minister, Mohamed Al Tuwaijri, stated unequivocally in October 2016 last time that the Saudis tried this exact same ‘strategy’ from 2014 to 2016: “If we [Saudi Arabia] don’t take any reform measures, and if the global economy stays the same, then we’re doomed to bankruptcy in three to four years.” That is to say, that if Saudi kept overproducing to push oil prices down – just as it is doing right now, yet again – then it would be bankrupt within three to four years. The timeframe has halved for a variety of reasons outlined in my recent piece on this very subject here.

But what has Russia to gain from Saudi going bankrupt? Economically, it means that Saudi will default on sovereign and corporate debt, will not be able to service its key industries, and will be unable to meet the requirements for its major oil and gas contracts. Simply having less Saudi oil and gas competing in the same space as Russia and its allies – notably Iran and Iraq – would be benefit enough for Russia but there are even bigger added benefits too. One of these is the destruction of the already strained relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that has endured since 1945. At that time, as analysed in depth in my new book on the global oil markets, the deal that was struck between the then-U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Saudi King at the time, Abdulaziz, onboard the U.S. Navy cruiser Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake segment of the Suez Canal was that the U.S. would receive all of the oil supplies it needed for as long as Saudi had oil in place, in return for which the U.S. would guarantee the security both of the country and of the ruling House of Saud.

Support in the U.S. for the continuation of this relationship has already diminished markedly in the past few years. This change in attitude began in earnest when it came to the U.S. public’s attention that 15 of the 19 hijackers who flew the aeroplanes involved in the ‘9/11’ terrorist atrocity on the U.S. were Saudi nationals. The extent of the Saudi government’s involvement in funding such terrorism appeared front and centre following the overriding on 28 September 2017 by the U.S Congress of former President Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. That made it possible for families of the victims of the ‘9/11’ terrorist attack to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for damages. Within a short space of time after this reversal, there were seven major lawsuits in federal courts alleging Saudi government support and funding for the ‘9/11’ attack, and more lawsuits are expected.

Subsequent events have not softened this negative view, with ongoing pressure from the U.S. Congress over the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the cosying up of Saudi to Russia in the OPEC+ grouping, and Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s allegation in 2017 that then-Prime Minister Saad al Hariri had been kidnapped by the Saudis and forced to resign. Matters grew worse with the murder of dissident Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, on 2 October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, which even the CIA concluded was personally ordered by MbS. Such was the shift in sentiment away from Saudi over these years that the U.S. Presidential Administration has come under growing pressure to finally implement the  ‘No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act’ (NOPEC). This bill – which can still be implemented, incidentally (apparently something else that MbS has not taken into consideration) – would make it illegal to artificially cap oil (and gas) production or to set prices, as OPEC and Saudi Arabia do.

The bill would also immediately remove the sovereign immunity that presently exists in U.S. courts for OPEC as a group and for its individual member states. This would leave Saudi Arabia open to be sued under existing U.S. anti-trust legislation with its total liability being its estimated US$1 trillion of investments in the U.S. This, and all of the other aforementioned events, resulted in MbS being completely unable to find any international listing destination for the Aramco IPO. As highlighted ahead of the IPO in previous articles published in OilPrice.com, Aramco shares are now haemorrhaging value for precisely the key reason cited: that the company would be used as an instrument of government policy – however ill-considered – regardless of the considerations of shareholders.

Moreover, at the weekend, Aramco posted figures showing a 21 per cent fall in 2019 ‘due to a drop in oil prices’ – and this is before the new price-crashing strategy was put in place by MbS! After the ‘strategy’ announcement, the shares were trading at 15 per cent less than the offer price. In addition, again making a lie of its previous statements, it emerged at the end of last week that, despite its proven ridiculous claims by the Kingdom to boost supplies to levels never before even vaguely attained. Aramco rejected at least three Asian refiners’ (one Korean, one Taiwanese, and one Chinese) requests for additional crude for April, on top of their long-term supply deal.

So Russia, with Saudi Arabia either in the oil price war or better still bankrupt, benefits either way. The long-term goal of Russia is to control directly or indirectly all of the key players in the Shia crescent of power in the Middle East, including most immediately Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen (via Iran). All of these countries have vast oil and gas reserves and/or useful coastlines for Russian military and commercial needs (Mediterranean access or access to the Arabian Sea). To do this, Russia’s core foreign policy strategy is to create chaos and then project Russian solutions and therefore power into that chaos. In this respect, again, MbS is being very ‘useful’ to the Russians.

By Simon Watkins for Oilprice.com

The Rising Australian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Coercion, deterrence and Australia’s long-range strike options
19 Mar 2020|

My ASPI colleague Marcus Hellyer’s two recent posts open up a range of questions about the future role of long-range strike capabilities in Australian strategy. One of the more important questions involves what we want long-range strike to do. At the risk of being overly reductionist, I’d suggest that proponents of long-range strike can be divided into two groups: those who envisage an offensive role for such capabilities and those who envisage solely a defensive one. In part, the division turns on the issue of China, and whether Australia should be prepared to target the Chinese homeland during a conflict. But it turns too on theoretical arguments, such as whether deterrence by denial really is ‘inherently more reliable’ than deterrence by punishment.

Most warfare involves contests in short-range and medium-range weaponry. No surprise there—most of those who fight are neighbours. Even today, long-range strike capabilities are relatively rare. The P5 countries—China, France, Russia, the UK and the US, all of which are officially recognised as nuclear-weapon states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty—have them. Among the four non-official nuclear-armed states, India and North Korea are working to develop intercontinental-range delivery systems, but Pakistan and Israel aren’t. It’s not entirely coincidental that the list essentially comprises nuclear-capable states: for a long time the limited accuracy of long-range systems has meant that only a nuclear warhead could compensate for ‘circular error probables’ that measured in the hundreds, if not thousands, of metres.

So, for most countries, the issue of what to do with long-range strike capabilities simply doesn’t arise. Even in the case of Australia, a country used to fighting its wars at considerable distance from its shores, most of our thinking about long-range strike has been subcontracted to our major ally, the US. Thinking about how we might use an indigenous long-range strike capability has been relatively rare. That it resurfaces now, at a time of shifting relative strategic weight in the Asian great-power balance, means the debate automatically centres on the rising authoritarian power, China.

So, how might Australian long-range strike capabilities—China, remember, already has them—contribute to establishing a more stable strategic relationship between Canberra and Beijing?

Let’s start with the concept of deterrence. In a purely definitional sense, deterrence is a show-stopper. It occurs when country A persuades country B not to undertake a specific action by threatening to impose a set of costs on country B that would exceed the likely benefits it would gain from undertaking the action.

That’s accurate, but long-winded and dull. And it just tells us how deterrence works, rather than what it is. So, what is it? Deterrence is a chapter in the playbook of coercion. And coercion springs from what Thomas Schelling called ‘the power to hurt’. The power to hurt is important because it underpins bargaining power.

That description probably horrifies some readers. Western audiences today like discussions about power to be qualified by adjectives like ‘soft’ and ‘smart’. Coercion, in particular, doesn’t get a lot of mileage in Australian defence white papers. Indeed, we’re inclined to think that coercion is bad, that China coerces but we don’t, and that we live by higher standards and finer principles, essentially those of a ‘rule-bound’ international order.

Moreover, in recent decades Western military capabilities have emphasised precision strike—ironically, the deliberate minimisation of pain—as the key principle in force design. That’s enabled smaller warheads to be effective against targets that previously would’ve required larger ones.

It’s possible to argue that the credibility of both deterrence by punishment and deterrence by denial has increased—the first can be more selective, the second more effective. But do adversaries really fear accurate destruction more than gross destruction? If so, why do nuclear weapons retain their strategic importance?

Summing up on this point, when we’re asking ourselves what the link might be between deterrence and long-range strike weapons, we’re specifically asking how such capabilities would allow us to coerce another power—that is, how we might threaten them to our political advantage.

Second point: country B doesn’t have to be merely another second-tier power like us. In deterrence relationships, it matters not which country is stronger. What matters is whether country A can credibly threaten to impose on country B a set of costs that country B finds painful.

That’s why North Korea’s successful, if so far limited, testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile and a thermonuclear warhead is strategically significant. It allows Pyongyang to threaten to impose on the US a set of costs that Washington would find unacceptable even if it could, in response, turn North Korea into a radioactive carpark. That is to say, its subsequent devastation of North Korea would not reduce America’s suffering to any noticeable degree.

French nuclear doctrine during the Cold War turned on precisely the same axis: it threatened to undo the Soviet Union’s standing as a great power. Yes, Moscow could retaliate, but it could not escape the effects of a French strike.

Now, in both those cases, nuclear weapons provide important leverage. It might be that Australia is unwilling to head down the path to nuclear weapons. And in terms of deterrence, that would be a serious constraint, for the sheer destructiveness of nuclear weapons provides a solid foundation for a diplomatic stance based on coercive threats.

True, the same principles of deterrence apply at the conventional-weapon level. But it’s hard to threaten an aggressor with a set of costs that its leadership would find unacceptable if we don’t have some heavyweight escalation options. And we certainly can’t do that by prematurely rushing to reassure China that its homeland wouldn’t be targeted during a conflict with Australia. After all, Beijing is giving us no such reassurance.

A third point: trying to constrain Australia’s future long-range strike capabilities to those which would augment our existing doctrine—essentially ‘defence of Australia’ accompanied by a side-dish of Pacific ‘step-up’—puts the cart before the horse. Despite Hugh White’s recent effort to show that the defence of Australia doctrine could be deployed against a superpower, it was designed in the 1980s to do something different. It was a formula for managing low-level threats, in a world of US primacy and great-power accommodation. That’s not the future we confront. Belatedly appending to that formula a long-range anti-ship missile capability, so we can threaten the targeting of Chinese ships as they pull out of Hainan, merely confuses an already overburdened defence doctrine.

The threat to hurt is difficult to leverage from a strategic posture that insists on ‘defensive defence’—readers of a certain age might remember the NATO debates of the early 1980s on just that topic. After all, what ‘threat’ would we be actually making? We’d be ‘threatening’ to defend ourselves against another country’s military forces that were already attacking us. The potency of the threat depends on Beijing’s weighing of a shifting balance of conventional forces in a prospective battle far distant from its shores. That threat’s not particularly coercive, not when weighed alongside more offensive possibilities.

Where does that leave us? Three points. Deterrence is the political return from coercive threat. Effective threats can be made against a stronger power by a weaker one. And offensive threats—especially offensive threats of gross destruction—possess a persuasiveness not easily matched by defensive threats. We need to approach the issue of long-range strike with those lessons in mind.

Trump Pushes Iran Even Further

KEY POINTS
Mike Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state, speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump, second left, listens during a Coronavirus Task Force news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Friday it would not offer sanctions relief to Iran as the deadly coronavirus outbreak further isolates and cripples the Middle Eastern nation.

Iran’s health ministry has said that one person dies from coronavirus every 10 minutes and 50 are becoming infected every hour. 

“The whole world should know that humanitarian assistance to Iran is wide open, it’s not sanctioned,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a Friday briefing with President Donald Trump at the White House.

“We are doing everything we can to facilitate the humanitarian assistance moving in and to make sure that the financial transactions connected to that can take place as well. There is no sanction on medicines going to Iran, there is no sanctions on humanitarian assistance going into that country. They’ve got a terrible problem there and we want that humanitarian, medical assistance to get to the people of Iran,” the nation’s top diplomat added.

When asked again whether the administration would consider lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran, President Donald Trump doubled down by saying, “They know the answer, the leaders of Iran, they know the answer to your question.”

The latest revelation comes as the U.S. imposed new sanctions this week. The Trump administration blacklisted five companies based in the United Arab Emirates, three in mainland China, three in Hong Kong and one in South Africa for doing business with Iran’s petrochemical sector.

The virus — which has already killed more than 10,031 people and infected more than 245,000 people around the world — is spreading as the Iranian regime deals with intensifying U.S. sanctions.

GP: Iran Coronaviris
A firefighter uses a fog machine to disinfect the city hall building following the outbreak of coronavirus in Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Ali Mohammadi | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tehran has urged other countries to back its call for the lifting of U.S. sanctions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Unlawful US sanctions drained Iran’s economic resources, impairing ability to fight #COVID19,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Tuesday.

Javad Zarif

@JZarif

Unlawful US sanctions drained Iran’s economic resources, impairing ability to fight .

They literally kill innocents

It is immoral to observe them: doing so has never saved anyone from future US wrath

Join the growing global campaign to disregard US sanctions on Iran.

4,403 people are talking about this

The sanctions are the latest move in aggressive tit-for-tat exchanges between Tehran and Washington that began in 2018, when Trump unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 international agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

Earlier this year, Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced new sanctions days after Iran fired missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq in retaliation for an American airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iran’s top military leader, Qasem Soleimani.

After the January missile strikes, President Donald Trump said the U.S. will “immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.”

In December, State Department officials said that the maximum pressure campaign on Iran will intensify in 2020, as the U.S. seeks to rein in Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear infrastructure and regional aggression.

“There will be more sanctions to come, and Iran’s economic problems and challenges are going to compound in 2020,” a senior State Department official said on a Dec. 30 call with reporters. “They are already deep into a recession, and we are also seeing Iran come under greater diplomatic isolation.”

The Rising Iranian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:4)

Image result for iran nuclear maps

UN nuclear watchdog finds Iran has nearly tripled its uranium stockpile

Miriam JacksonMarch 19, 2020

In the March 3 record to participant states, and also acquired by CNN, the IAEA claimed that Tehran’s accumulations of reduced enriched uranium currently much go beyond 300 kgs, the limitation established by the 2015 Iran nuclear offer.

The record claimed that since February 19, “the Agency verified that … Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile… was 1020.9 kilograms (+648.6 kilograms since the previous quarterly report).”

Low enriched uranium is typically made use of in nuclear plants, while extremely enriched uranium is made use of for nuclear bombs, however theoretically, the raised accumulations minimize the “breakout” time Iran would certainly require to get sufficient weapons-grade product to produce a bomb.

The IAEA record claimed Iran has significantly raised the variety of centrifuges it makes use of to create the nuclear gas, causing 1,000 of the devices back right into usage in current months, consisting of at the Fordow below ground enrichment center. Iran had actually accepted stop enrichment task at Fordow under the 2015 nuclear offer, which President Donald Trump left in2018

The IAEA additionally slammed Iran for rejecting assessors accessibility to 3 websites where nuclear task has happened in the past. “As a result of its ongoing evaluations, the Agency identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at three locations in Iran that had not been declared by Iran,” the firm claimed in a different record.

Since the United States separation from the global deal, the Trump management has sought a “maximum pressure” plan versusIran After the United States murder of Iran’s 2nd most effective authorities,Gen Qasem Soleimani, in January, Iran introduced it would certainly no more be bound by particular facets of the nuclear offer and also particularly indicated uranium enrichment and also the variety of centrifuges.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges,” the federal government claimed in a declaration provided after an emergency situation conference to review Soleimani’s murder. “Therefore Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claimed as the news did not suggest Iran was leaving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the offer is officially understood. Zarif additionally claimed Iran would certainly remain to accept the IAEA, enabling it to assess its nuclear study, and also would certainly agree to abide completely with the contract once again if permissions versus Iran were gotten rid of.

CNN has connected to the Iranian international ministry for its action to the record.

The Doom of the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

India, Pakistan Nuclear War Could Spell Doom In China, Iran & Bangladesh

By Shrikant BedekarMarch 19, 2020

A nuclear conflagration between India and Pakistan would devastate global food supplies and could trigger unprecedented global food shortages and starvation for over a decade, a 19-member international research team said in a study on Monday. EurAsian Times gets you what would happen in case of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan

Even a limited war would have devastating indirect implications worldwide. It would exceed the largest famine in documented history. We’re not saying a nuclear conflict is around the corner. But it is important to understand what could happen,” said Jonas Jägermeyr a post-doctoral scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies who led the study.

The paper was co-authored by a total of 19 scientists from five countries, including three others from Goddard, which is affiliated with Columbia University’s Earth Institute: Michael Puma, Alison Heslin and Cynthia Rosenzweig. Jägermeyr also has affiliations with the University of Chicago and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

As per secondary research by the EurAsian Times, much attention has been focused recently on North Korea’s nuclear program and the potential for Iran or other countries to start up their own arsenals, many experts have long regarded Pakistan and India as the most dangerous players, because of their history of near-continuous conflict over territory and other issues.

India tested its first nuclear weapon in 1974 and when Pakistan followed in 1998, the stakes increased. The two countries have already had four full-scale conventional wars, in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999, along with many substantial skirmishes in between.

As the EurAsian Times reported earlier, in November 2019, Pakistan’s Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed warned India of area-specific nuclear attacks with tactical atomic bombs. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that rising tensions between the nuclear-armed countries could endanger the world.

Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh had said that India may change its ‘no-first-use policy’ in future depending on the circumstances. In such volatile situations, it’s not hard for one to predict a nuclear war scenario.

Imagine this, as geopolitical tensions rise between India and Pakistan over the contested region of Kashmir, a terrorist attacks a site in India, and as an immediate response, India sends its tanks rolling across the border with Pakistan. As a show of force against India, Pakistan decides to detonate several small nuclear bombs.

The next day, India sets off its own atomic explosions and within days, the nations begin bombing dozens of military targets and then hundreds of cities. Tens of millions of people die in the blasts.

That horrifying scenario is just the beginning. Smoke from the incinerated cities rises high into the atmosphere, wrapping the planet in a blanket of soot that blocks the Sun’s rays. The planet plunges into a deep chill. For years, crops wither from California to China. Famine sets in around the globe.

The Little Boy bomb attack by the US alone killed around 100,000 Japanese—between 30 to 40 per cent of Hiroshima’s population—and destroyed 69 per cent of the buildings in the city.

But Pakistan and India host some of the most populous and densely populated cities on the planet, with population densities of Calcutta, Karachi and Mumbai at or exceeding 65,000 people per square mile. Thus, even low-yield bombs could cause tremendous casualties.

Secondary research by the EurAsian Times estimates that the immediate effects of the bombs—the fireball, over-pressure wave, radiation burns etc.—would kill twenty million people. An earlier study estimated a hundred 15-kiloton nuclear detonations could kill twenty-six million in India and eighteen million in Pakistan—and concluded that escalating to using 100-kiloton warheads, which have greater blast radius and overpressure waves that can shatter hardened structures, would multiply death tolls four-fold.

Moreover, these projected body counts omit the secondary effects of nuclear blasts. Many survivors of the initial explosion would suffer slow, lingering deaths due to radiation exposure. The collapse of healthcare, transport, sanitation, water and economic infrastructure would also claim many more lives. A nuclear blast could also trigger a deadly firestorm. For instance, a firestorm caused by the U.S. napalm bombing of Tokyo in March 1945 killed more people than the Fat Man bomb killed in Nagasaki.

Now consider likely population movements in event of a nuclear war between India-Pakistan, which together total over 1.5 billion people. Nuclear bombings—or their even their mere potential—would likely cause many city-dwellers to flee to the countryside to lower their odds of being caught in a nuclear strike. Wealthier citizens, numbering in tens of millions, would use their resources to flee abroad.

Should bombs begin to pound, poorer citizens many begin flowing over to Afghanistan and Iran for Pakistan, and Nepal and Bangladesh for India. These poor states would struggle to supports tens of millions of refugees. China also borders India and Pakistan—but historically Beijing has not welcomed refugees.

But that is not all, the recent study based on computer simulations has suggested that even a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan could lead to 20 to 50 per cent losses of staple food crops above 30-degree latitude or 11 per cent globally for five years after the conflict.

The simulations predict that if India and Pakistan each set off 50 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs, firestorms would spew around five million tonnes of soot (black smoke) into the stratosphere that would be carried by winds across the world, absorb sunlight and lower average global temperatures by 1.8 degrees Celsius for at least five years.

The temperature drop would lead to an average of 11 per cent fall in the production of maize, wheat, soybeans and rice, the four major staple cereals, the researchers said in their study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Their calculations suggest that by the fifth year, maize and wheat availability would decrease by around 13 per cent globally and by more than 20 per cent in 71 countries with a total population of around 1.3 billion.

The study, which relied on computer simulations of the impact of firestorms on crop production, has indicated that crops in the northern temperate regions — in Canada, China, Europe, Russia and the US — would be the hardest hit.

However, because many of these countries produce surpluses that get exported to the low-income countries, the scientists predict, the production falls in the northern countries would impact the low-income countries.

The scientists predict that the northern nations would impose export bans to protect their own populations. Some of the countries to be hardest hit would be Bangladesh, Honduras, Niger, Rwanda and Somalia.

India-based analysts view the study as a fresh attempt to amplify concerns about nuclear weapons in South Asia, although the researchers themselves have pointed out that of the estimated 14,000 nuclear warheads believed to exist globally, 95 per cent belong to the US and Russia while India and Pakistan are thought to have about 150 each.

The First Nuclear War Will Destroy the World (Revelation 8 )

A nuclear war is enough to destroy the world. Even a small one, study shows

Just in case you were wondering what else might be on the menu.

The conclusion? It would be a complete disaster for everyone.

Let’s refrain from using this, shall we?

Unprecedented planet-wide food shortages and probable starvation lasting more than a decade — that’s what the world can expect if India and Pakistan (two countries who have had their fair share of adversity) launch a nuclear war.

India and Pakistan aren’t exactly nuclear powerhouses — that elite club is reserved for the US and Russia, who combined, own almost 95% of the world’s 14,000 nuclear warheads.

It’s estimated that India and Pakistan each have about 150 warheads — relatively, it’s not a lot, but practically, it’s still enough to wreak havoc.

The recent study examined the potential effects if both countries released 50 Hiroshima-sized bombs. The assumption is that this doesn’t further escalate and remains a localized war.

“Even this regional, limited war would have devastating indirect implications worldwide,” said Jonas Jägermeyr, a postdoctoral scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies who led the study. “It would exceed the largest famine in documented history.”

In addition to all the people that would be killed, the bombings would launch some 5 million tons of soot into the stratosphere. From there, it would spread around the globe, absorbing sunlight and lowering global temperatures by 1.8 degrees Celsius almost immediately.

This shift would last for at least five years, and would cause the production of main cereal crops to drop by an average 11% — sufficient to bring about widespread famine.

“While crop failures after historic volcanic eruptions are documented, a nuclear conflict can cause even more severe and longer-lasting climate anomalies,” the study reads.

The northerly areas of US, Canada, Europe, Russia, and China, would be affected the most in terms of production. Yet, paradoxically, southern regions would suffer more hunger — particularly because southern areas have fewer surpluses and have a more difficult task feeding themselves as it is. The more developed north can cope better with loss, whereas the south is very vulnerable. According to the authors, 70 underdeveloped countries with a cumulative population of 1.3 billion people would then see food supplies drop more than 20%, when the net effect of trade is considered.

This is not meant to serve as a manual for what to do in case of a nuclear war. Rather, it is a warning that nuclear war, even in a localized fashion, would be absolutely catastrophic. It’s a reminder that although other threats make the headlines (and often, for justified reasons), nuclear weapons still exist, and they still represent a hidden threat to society’s wellbeing.

If nuclear weapons continue to exist, “they can be used with tragic consequences for the world,” said study co-author Alan Robock, a climatologist at Rutgers University who has long studied the potential effects of nuclear war. “As horrible as the direct effects of nuclear weapons would be, more people could die outside the target areas due to famine.”

The study might even be on the conservative side. We don’t really know what bombs India and Pakistan have available, but it’s very likely that they have access to larger bombs than the ones modeled in this study.

In addition, the study didn’t look at the effects such an event would have on India and Pakistan themselves — two countries which, together, account for around 1.6 billion people, or 20% of the globe’s population.

India and Pakistan would almost certainly be the worst affected by this, but researchers wanted to avoid mixing up the direct effects of a war with the indirect ones (which is what they were analyzing).

Although the researchers did not study this, Jägermeyr said that one could reasonably assume that food production in the remnants of the two countries would drop essentially to zero. The cascading effects of this would transform what would already be a worldwide crisis, into an unprecedented catastrophe. Furthermore, the researchers did not factor in the effects of radioactive fallout, which could render many agricultural areas unusable, nor the possibility that the soot in the atmosphere could heat up, as it cools the planet. This effect would cause stratosphericozone to dissipate, allowing more ultraviolets into the Earth’s surface, further affecting agriculture.

It’s a sobering reminder to the destruction we are capable of bringing into this world — and that we’d be wise to avoid using.

“We’re not saying a nuclear conflict is around the corner. But it is important to understand what could happen,” concludes Jägermeyr.

The study “A regional nuclear conflict would compromise global food security” has been published in PNAS.