A new study has confirmed that the world will be plunged into a nuclear winter following a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. According to the study, the war between these two superpowers would trigger a global environmental event that can last for several years.

The new study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Colorado, Rutgers University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. It was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

For the study, the researchers created a model depicting what would happen to Earth if the U.S. and Russia engaged in an all-out nuclear war. As part of the simulation, the researchers observed what would happen if a large number of nuclear bombs were detonated in urban areas near the U.S. and Russia. In the simulation, the two countries used all of their nuclear weapons.

According to the findings of their model, dubbed as the Community Earth System Model – Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model version 4, the explosions from the nuclear bomb detonations would create a massive amount of smoke that would cover up the Earth’s atmosphere.

The smoke, which scientists predict would linger for years, will block out sunlight, leading to a significant drop in Earth’s temperature. According to the scientists, the winter-like season that will be caused by the nuclear war will last for a long time. It will also trigger other environmental events such as changes to the monsoon and El Niño seasons.

The scientists noted that the results of their study agree with the findings of a previous research published in 2007. The similarity between these two studies clearly indicates the inevitability of a nuclear winter following a massive nuclear war.

“Despite having different features and capabilities, both models produce similar results,” the scientists stated in the study’s abstract. “Nuclear winter, with below-freezing temperatures over much of the Northern Hemisphere during summer, occurs because of a reduction of surface solar radiation due to smoke lofted into the stratosphere.

Despite the destruction it will cause, the scientists noted the nuclear war and nuclear winter will not be significant enough to cause an instant extinction-level event on Earth.

h-bomb, atomic bomb, nuclear explosion
Pictured: A mushroom cloud created by a 11-megaton thermonuclear test conducted by the United States in 1954. (Representational Image) National Nuclear Security Administration/Nevada Field Office