Nuclear explosion
The world will not survive nuclear war. [Representational image]Image credit - Creative Commons

The world is now facing another threat of nuclear war the moment North Korea retreats from the so-called Singapore deal. The body language of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is as unpleasant as before though US President Donald Trump is upbeat about the peace agreeement.

Neighbouring countries of the North seem on edge as ever knowing the past failures of such deals with belligerent Pyongyang.Tensions are not down yet as the superpowers of the world do not seem to be getting along quite as well. What, though, will happen if one of the countries carries out an attack?

A new study has delved into this subject to find out just how much damage a nuclear bomb would have to cause before the aggressors themselves are negatively impacted by their actions.

Researchers looked only into the 'Nuclear Winter' effect of a thermonuclear explosion and how this would affect the nation that is attacked in the first place.

Nuclear winter is a scenario predicted by scientists where, following a nuclear war, clouds of dust and other particles create a layer in the atmosphere, blocking the Sun out. This would plunge the planet into a period of extreme cold weather.

Nuclear autumn is a milder version of the same the same scenario, but the study predicts that in this case, about 10 percent of the world's agriculture would die.

How many bombs would it take?

A release by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) - Safety journal has probed three conditions.

First, How many nukes must a country have as a minimum, or 'low weapon limit' to act as a real deterrent? Second, what is the ability of the aggressor nation to actually feed themselves post an attack, and third, what is the best-case scenario in case the aggressor nation is wealthy and with abundant cultivable land?

The possible outcomes were analysed for starvation conditions and impact on the economy in case of 7000, 1000, and 100 nuclear weapons scenarios.

Nuclear bomb Hiroshima
A group of Indians looks at pictures showing victims of the Hiroshima bombing at a nuclear awareness exhibition in New Delhi June 16.Reuters

There are about 15,000 nuclear bombs in the world, which we know right now, are enough to completely destroy the planet and everything it shelters. According to a report on the study by Gizmodo, the results of this research were not as clear cut as expected.

One of the findings in this study, notes the report, is that no country should have more than 100 nuclear warheads. Beyond this point, say the researchers, the blowback will be too severe for even the attackers.

What would the result be?

The repercussions will come in the form of environmental, agricultural, and socioeconomic devastation, all of which will result in a serious loss of life in their own home countries. All of this, when there is no retaliation from the attacked nation.

One hundred nukes is also a big enough number to act as an effective nuclear deterrent, the researchers have found.

It is, "not rational for any of these seven countries—USA, Russia, UK, France, India, Pakistan, and China along with Israel and North Korea—to maintain stockpiles of weapons in excess of 100 that could result in such a large potential impact on their own citizens if they were used," the researchers note.

Having said that, they have also pointed out that while 100 seems like a nice round number, given the capacity of certain types of bombs, some large enough to wipe out entire cities, it would still cause unimaginable environmental devastation.

The effects of a nuclear war, even if just between two countries, will undoubtedly be felt across the world. The most rational number of nuclear weapons for a country to have is zero, they say.