A recent study conducted by a team of researchers at Rutgers University has revealed the aftereffects of a probable nuclear war between India and Pakistan on oceans. The study found that a nuclear war between these arch-rivals in the future could worsen the impacts of acidification on corals, clams, and oysters.
Impact of nuclear war on oceans
If a nuclear war breaks out between India and Pakistan, millions of people will die in seconds, and it will also drastically impact the atmosphere and oceans. During the study, researchers analyzed two hypothetical scenarios; a relatively small nuclear war between India and Pakistan, and a large one between the United States and Russia.
Scientists later analyzed how climate change due to a nuclear winter will affect the oceans. After a nuclear war, the acidic level in the oceans will be increased drastically, and it will also reduce the level of carbonate ions. It should be noted that marine creatures like corals, clams, and oysters make use of carbonate ions to build their shells and skeletons, and water which is less in these components will drastically affect the survival of these living beings.
"We found that the ocean's chemistry would change, with global cooling dissolving atmospheric carbon into the upper ocean and exacerbating the primary threat of ocean acidification. We have known for a while that agriculture on land would be severely affected by climate change from nuclear war. A lingering question is whether the survivors could still get food from the sea. Our study is the first step in answering this question," said Alan Robock, a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University and the co-author of the study.
How Earth gets cooled after a nuclear war?
A nuclear war will send huge plumes of smoke to the sky, and it will block the sun's rays from reaching the Earth's surface. As this phenomenon will continue for many days, the Earth will witness a nuclear winter, and it will increase the acidification of oceans for at least five years. Researchers, in their study report also noted that carbonate ions in the oceans will remain in a decreased status at least for 10 years.