Some two-thirds of the world could starve to death in the event of a nuclear war between Russia and the United States, according to a Rutgers University-led study published Monday. Nuclear conflict would lead to “catastrophic” disruptions in food supplies, as sun-blocking soot and ash wilt crops around the world, researchers wrote in the peer-reviewed study published in the journal Nature Food.

Even a smaller-scale nuclear war between Pakistan and India would devastate food supplies, slash global production by 7% within five years and kill up to 2.5 billion people. Food insecurity in these cases would be deadlier than the nuclear blasts, the study predicts.

“The data tell us one thing: We must prevent a nuclear war from ever happening,” climate scientist Alan Robock, co-author of the study, said in a statement.

The researchers examined how wind patterns could spread smoke and fire from nuclear attacks and cloud skies above major food exporters such as the United States and China. The lack of sunlight would collapse harvests and could lead to a 90% drop in animal, fishing and crop yields worldwide within four years of a conflict between major nuclear powers.... Read More: Washington Post