As tensions ratchet up with North Korea thanks to bluster on both sides, the possibility of global nuclear war feels more real than it has in decades. But what would be the true cost of such a disaster?

Data visualizer Neil Halloran attempts to answer that with a gorgeous and devastating video demonstrating the potential impact of a nuclear conflict. Like his last video, which was a disturbing and sobering exploration of who died in World War II, this video, the first of a series, uses inventive visualizations to bring home otherwise incomprehensible numbers. His estimate is half a billion deaths, which is more than ten times the casualties of World War II. But as Halloran points out, that number doesn’t even take into account the nuclear winter that could devastate crops around the world and lead to a massive famine after such a war.

After all this doom and gloom, Halloran ends his video on an uplifting note, with research showing that UN peacekeeping is an effective tool in minimizing conflicts. It’s a small ray of hope in this bleak reality. We need all of that we can get right now.

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