In the event of a planet ending catastrophe, it is not the asteroid impact itself that will kill most humans, nor is it the volcanic eruption or the nuclear missile hitting its target. Experts have warned that the deadliest consequence of such disasters would be crop failures that last for years and cause mass starvation. As nuclear tensions between Russia and NATO reach new heights, an international team of researchers has created a road map for surviving an “abrupt sunlight reduction scenario”.
In a new paper published in the journal Nutrients, the researchers argue that with global cooperation, humanity could survive a catastrophic event, like a nuclear war.
Juan García Martínez, from the Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters said: “We’re trying to promote preparedness — a culture of having institutions, government and companies prepared for a kind of global catastrophe that has been quite neglected.”
Right after the catastrophe takes place, the academics note that humans would be heavily reliant on stored and legacy foods, like canned goods.
They estimate that the world has a few months worth of supplies at any one time, which will be rapidly depleted in the event of a nuclear disaster.
Fish, which would likely last longer than animals on land should be exploited immediately.
The experts suggested that livestock, which is highly inefficient at providing calories could be slaughtered, with some kept alive to produce milk from indigestible grass.
The academics believe that using these precious resources wisely would give humans enough time to scale up other sources of food production
One resource that humans would need to utilise is trees, as mass deaths of forests will result in a large supply of wood, which acts as a source of energy.
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For the nutrient, the experts recommend that seaweed farms be installed, as it requires little sun, and can be protected against radiation.
Seaweed is rich in antioxidants and contains several vitamins including A, C, and E, along with protective pigments.
It also contains iodine, which is a key nutrient used to prevent the worst impacts of nuclear radiation, making it a perfect crop to grow in such a scenario.