If a Nuclear war were to happen, there would be serious consequences. From High Altitude Dust to Ozone to Global Warming to Mass Extinction, the earth will never be the same.
In a 10,000 Megaton war, with half of all the nuclear weapons exploding at ground level, some 25 billion cubic meters of rock and soil would be torn up. This would send a substantial amount of dust particles into the atmosphere; around twice the volume of material from the Indonesian Volcano Krakatoa, which exploded in 1883 and was the most powerful terrestrial event ever recorded.
The dust would block out sunlight, causing plant to die, animals and vegans would run out of food, the animals would die, thus causing humans to either resort to becoming cannibals or dying of starvation. The Earth would also be plunged into Nuclear Winter.
A more important issue is the possible effect of nuclear explosions in the stratosphere also known as Airbursts. It wasn’t realized until the 20th century that the unique and paradoxical role of the ozone layer was fully recognized.
While oxygen and nitrogen in the upper layers of the atmosphere can block out solar ultraviolet photons with wavelengths shorter than 2,420 angstroms. Ozone is the only shield effective in the atmosphere against the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The nuclear blasts might destroy the ozone layer. It is possible that a major increase in solar ultraviolet will overwhelm the defenses of terrestrial life forms. Direct and Indirect damage would occur on bacteria insects and plants, which human life depends on.
The National Academy of Sciences report concludes that within 20 years, the ecological systems would have recovered from the increase in U.V. Radiation, not necessarily from radioactivity or other damage in areas close to the warzone. A delayed effect of the increase in UV Radiation would be an estimated 3 to 30 percent increase in skin cancer for 40 in the northern hemispheres mid-latitudes.
The fireball emits large amounts of visible, infrared, and ultraviolet rays in the first seconds after the blast. The Thermal radiation travels outwards at the speed of light. If a 15-kiloton bomb went off, everyone within a 2 km radius will suffer from 3rd degree burns. If a 550 Kiloton Bomb went off, everyone within a 95m radius would have 3rd degree burns. There would be almost no survivors since there would be no immediate medical attention. The smoke would result in a deadly global climate change.
According to researchers from Colorado who used climate models to predict what would happen to the planet. “Their research looked at the detonation of 100 small nuclear warheads, in their paper they conclude that humanity would be affected for decades, there would be worldwide famine, deadly frosts, and huge ozone losses. The results would be the death of hundreds of millions or billions.” Through Computer simulations, you can estimate that if Phoenix Arizona were to be bombed with the b-83 bomb which is the largest bomb in the U.S.’s arsenal, 1.2 Megatons, would have 246,790 Fatalities, and 619,720 Injuries if it were an airburst. If it were detonated on the surface, it would have 147,120 fatalities, and 261,760 injuries, with radioactive dust spreading in the direction the wind blew and could easily reach any part of the state depending on what direction the wind was blowing.
The Chernobyl accident was equivalent to around 20 of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima. Humans can live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because the bombs were airbursts and had the mushroom cloud to spread the radioactive dust, while Chernobyl happened on the ground, and didn’t have a mushroom cloud to spread it out. So all that dust is just sitting there.