Australia and New Zealand have been ranked as the best places to survive a nuclear winter or other cataclysmic events, according to a recent study published in the journal Risk Analysis.
Other countries including Iceland, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu are the best-equipped island countries to survive and sustain their populations after a sudden and significant reduction of sunlight caused by catastrophic events such as nuclear war, a super volcano eruption, or an asteroid impact.
A nuclear winter would have catastrophic repercussions, including the deaths of millions of people due to the first impact as well as the deaths of millions more as a result of the impacts on food supply.
The enormous fireballs produced by the detonation of nuclear bombs would ignite vast swaths of land, resulting in the production of enormous smoke and dust that would rise into the atmosphere and obscure the surface of the world.
Researchers evaluated 38 island nations based on 13 characteristics that are thought to be predictive of success in a post-apocalyptic world. These factors included food production, energy self-sufficiency, and health security.
Australia topped the list due to food supply and infrastructure
While New Zealand was deemed a strong contender due to its nuclear-free status and close proximity to the ocean, which would help cushion it from extreme temperature changes, Australia topped the list due to its vast food supply buffer, energy surplus, and robust infrastructure.
According to the study, “Australia’s food supply buffer is gigantic, with potential to feed many tens of millions of extra people. Good-quality infrastructure, vast energy surplus, the second highest health security in the world, and triple the defense spending of any other island in our analysis, all suggest that Australia has the potential to thrive during an ASRS.”
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New Zealand was highly rated for its abundant food supply and strong social cohesion, but the authors fear that a shutdown of global trade could lead to social collapse.
One of the authors, Prof Nick Wilson from the University of Otago, Wellington said, “We have this super-efficient food export economy that could feed New Zealanders multiple times over just from exports.” He further said that even if there is a 61% decrease in crops due to a long-lasting nuclear winter, New Zealand will still have enough food for its citizens.
More findings about why Australia and New Zealand are the safest countries to survive nuclear winter
The physical damage, radioactive pollution, and temperature fall are predicted to be most severe in the Northern Hemisphere, whereas the Southern Hemisphere is likely to suffer less from the consequences of ASRS (Abrupt Sun-Reducing Scenarios).
The two authors, Matt Boyd and Nick Wilson said in the study, “It is our hypothesis that island nations, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, would typically suffer less from ASRS. Complex technological society on such islands might persist, and targeted preparation could increase the probability of a global recovery.”