This is the first serious study that show us, what can cause the Apocalypse.
Researchers from the University of Oxford created the first list of 10 possible reasons, which can cause the Apocalypse and end human life as we know it on the Earth.
Dennis Pamlin from Global Challenges Foundation, who was co-author of this study said: “We were surprised to find that no one else had to compile a list of global risks with impact that, for all practical purposes, can be called infinite. We do not want to be blamed for spreading false alarms. We just want politicians to talk about it.”
Below is the list of threats, ranked from the least to the most probable.
10. Asteroid Impact
Asteroid about five kilometers in size would be enough to wipe us out. But the end would not be immediate, but it would be because of the clouds of dust projected into the upper atmosphere. This would affect climate change and cause instability. Anything larger could cause immediate extinction on the planet. But the collisions of this size happen once every 20 million years, according to the report.
9. Supervolcano Eruption
Every volcano that has ability to create an eruption with a volume greater than 1.000 km3 could be the reason for the global catastrophe. The dust from the eruption would absorb the rays from the Sun cause global freezing. The effects of an eruption can be compared to those of a nuclear war. But without firestorms.
8. Global Pandemic
This scenario is more probable to happen than is widely believed. It is because all of the extreme diseases already are in the nature. As an example, just look at Ebola, rabies, cold and HIV. Imagine what could possibly happen if they were combined.
7. Nuclear War
The possibility of the world seeing a nuclear war in the next century is somewhere near 10%. The larger impact depends on whether the nuclear war could trigger a nuclear winter. It is a state where the temperatures would drop below freezing point, the ozone layer would be destroyed and firestorms would start. All of these factors would most likely cause mass starvation and state collapse.
6. Extreme Climate Change
I don’t think that we need to discuss this further. Some countries in the poorest regions could be completely uninhabitable and it could lead to mass deaths, social collapse and mass migration.
5. Synthetic biology
The biggest threat, which can come out of this field could come from an engineered pathogen specially targeting humans or crucial ecosystem. This field that combines chemistry and biology together could be theoretical “very helpful” for someone in a war.
Nanotechnology is very welcomed in the sports. They help to make better surfs, special clothes that help professional sportsmen perform better and many other things. But also, in this case – every coin has two sides. Nanotechnology is also very popular as a part of bulletproof vests and nuclear weapons.
3. Ecological Collapse
This is the scenario when the ecosystem would suffer a drastic change that would lead to extinction. Already now, species extinction is way faster than the rate in the past.
2. Global System Collapse
All the systems on the Earth are connected in some way. This means, that when one could break down – the chain will start. In this scenario, economic collapse is usually accompanied by social chaos, civil disturbances and a breakdown of law and order.
1. Artificial Intelligence
There is very, very high possibility that creation of human-level intelligence would try to destroy creators. In simple way – it will behave as a human. But, on the other hand, it is also possible, that Artificial Intelligence could counter other apocalyptic causes in this study.
What do you think? Which one of these are most likely to happen?
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