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babaji's avatar

If two countries used Nuclear weapons in their war, probably both of those countries would disappear, but what would happen to the rest of the world?

Asked by babaji (1440points) April 14th, 2010

Obviously a nuclear war is something we don’t want to think about. But listening to President Obama say that he wouldn’t use nuclear weapons on a country that didn’t have nuclear capability, does that say to you that he would otherwise engage in a nuclear war? Do you think anything on the planet would survive a nuclear war?

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17 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

It depends on the weapon and how many bombs are dropped. I think we dropped two on Japan, and Japan still exists.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

@JLeslie I’m speaking entirely from ignorance but I believe atomic and nuclear weapons are different.

earthduzt's avatar

Well it wouldn’t be pretty. If both countries were completely annihilated by nuclear weapons (assuming they were big countries and a lot of bombs were used), first off we would have to worry about the fallout and nuclear winter in certain parts of the world from those nuclear bombs. We would probably see a rise of cancer as well around the world. Then depending on which countries were annihilated you’d probably see a power struggle to see who will be on top therefore putting everyone on edge and possibly igniting more nuclear attacks or wars. It could certainly lead to a domino affect, again yes the entire world wouldn’t be destroyed at least not right away, but it certainly wouldn’t be pretty. I’m no war or nuclear expert, this is just my theory on what could happen.

WolfFang's avatar

Yeah @earthduzt pretty much summarized what I was thinking as a scenario. I know that there does exist enough nuclear payload to destroy all major life on earth though, It freaked me out when I first learned that, it’s scary to think about

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Something always survives.
The fatality rate would be ridiculously high but something would survive the initial destruction. The fallout would likely doom most if not all human life.

susanc's avatar

There would immediately be a world financial/trade/food supply emergency that would kill off a lot of people right away, even people who were completely out of the range of the air-poisons.

Mulot's avatar

The problem is you cannot attack a country in total impunity like this. Nowadays the biggest country have nuclear fire power, which means if a country attacks another one owning the nuclear power, there will probably be allies of the attacked country that may also have nuclear power that will reply too, and thus allies of the attacking country, and so on, which means not a lot would be left of our little blue planet earth. This is the “worst” case.

Remarks about WWII bombing in Japan cannot stand here, the US where the only ones at the time to own such a thing.

ShiningToast's avatar

@Anon_Jihad Lookie here.

For all intents and purposes, they achieve they same thing, though the thermonuclear is more powerful.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There is a bacterium called Deinococcus radiodurans that can survive blasts of radiation thousands of times greater than the level that would kill a human being.

The bombs dropped on Japan were toys compared to the ones we have now. Hiroshima was 20 kilotons TNT equiv. The Soviets detonated the 50 megaton Tsar Bomba in 1961.

Only the ancestors of D. radiodurans will be around to write the next history books.

mattbrowne's avatar

Chernobyl wasn’t restricted to the Ukraine. German mushrooms were off limits for months.

earthduzt's avatar

yeah a few of these Tsar bombs going off would cause big trouble globably.

Ame_Evil's avatar

Fallout 3 would happen.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

A geographically small nation, such as Israel might be wiped out by a nuclear attack. A country such as the US would suffer economic damage and large casualties in the area of the attack, but come out of it strong, angry and determined to inflict vengeance on whoever did it. The US response to Japanese-Americans following Pearl Harbor would be nothing compared to the backlash at anyone even suspected of being a Muslim after an al-Qaeda nuclear attack. Not to mention the military response that even a liberal administration would be forced to inflict on any nation harboring them. Such an attack would turn the US into the “evil empire” overnight, to the delight of corporate arms producers. The US would be like a wounded giant, flailing around and crushing anything in its path. The other nuclear-armed powers would either stay out of the way or launch their own anti-Islamic pogroms.

Fallout is a relatively short-lived phenomenon, especially if only a few warheads are involved. The experience of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl showed that it is survivable and life goes on afterward. A full-scale exchange between nuclear-armed powers is highly unlikely. The more likely scenario is a single-point sneak attack by a rogue state or terrorist group, followed by a massive retaliation against that nation or group, while other powers stand by watching.

JLeslie's avatar

@Anon_Jihad Hmmm…I am not sure? I thought they were interchangeable. Isn’t an atomic weapon spliitting the nucleus of the atom and causing a big boom?

sevenfourteen's avatar

I once heard about a little thing called nuclear assured destruction, which basically stated if one country on one side of the globe set off their nuclear weapon and another country on the other side of the globe set off theirs as a reaction pretty much the world has ohhh idk like 10 minutes to live… freaked me out enough to say my prayers.

tedd's avatar

Depends how many nukes, and how advanced they are.

Right now with the level of nukes averagely available to most world countries (and keep in mind the nukes that the big 5 have, especially US/UK/France/Russia, are way more advanced than the rest…. It would take somewhere on the verge of 20–30 bombs to effectively destroy or fatally incapacitate every major country on the planet. The ensuing fallout would likely leave large swathes of land uninhabitable for hundreds of years, and you would most likely see the world descend into a “post-apocalyptic” chaos. .... Again thats with 20–30 nukes.

With 50–70 nukes, you could effectively wipe out all life on the planet (or at least to the level of say, the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs).

Scary thing to remember. The US currently has 2626 active nukes (around 9000 when you count inactive). Russia has 4000 and some active nukes (and around 10,000 when you add inactive). The next closest is France, with 100 and some nukes.

WolfFang's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land IDK about the U.S. coming out strong on a full scale nuclear exchange, I seriously doubt that, maybe only if there were a few warheads involved, but like @sevenfourteen said, I also heard of such a concept, most likely to occur between Russia and U.S. that’s what freaks me out so much about nuclear war. Very little chance of either side, of anyone coming out on top

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