How do we feed everyone in the event of a
global catastrophe that impacts food supply?
At the heart of the global economy, sunlight is the driving force behind our food production and supply. If we were to suddenly experience the blocking of the sun due to a nuclear winter, super volcanic eruption, or an asteroid impact, how would we feed everyone?
This is the question ALLFED is trying to answer.
Based on current research there is an estimated 10% chance of a complete loss of food production capability this century.
The UK Government also estimates that there is a 80% chance of floods and droughts on multiple continents causing a 10% global shortfall of food production capability this century.
Our current focus is on encouraging planning and preparedness and furthering research into food solutions. This may help to save many millions of lives, especially in developing countries, in the event of a global catastrophe such as those outlined below.
Following a comet impact, super volcanic eruption, or nuclear winter an estimated 50% of the sun’s visible light would be blocked by atmospheric ash. The blocking of sunlight would result in an 8 degree Celsius temperature drop globally.
Due to increased upper atmospheric temperatures, the ozone layer would be damaged, allowing excessive UV radiation to penetrate the ash cloud and reach the surface of the Earth.
NASA is currently monitoring hundreds of potentially hazardous extraterrestrial bodies through their Near Earth Object Program. According to NASA, 90% of all NEO’s have been discovered. Current data shows that although no major impacts are predicted in the next few hundred years, this could change with new information, especially with comets.
A supervolcano is any volcano that when it erupts can produce more than 10^15 Kg of ejected material. There are about 6 known supervolcanoes on Earth producing eruptions every 50,000 years. Scientists are particularly interested in the Yellowstone Caldera, which erupts on average every 600,000 years with the last eruption being about 600,000 years ago.
In the event that a nuclear war occurs between warring nations involving a large number of warheads, immense firestorms would introduce of many tons of soot into the atmosphere, potentially causing the sun to be blocked out for up to a decade or more.