How will the world end?

A new comprehensive study considers the most likely ways the world will end, including disease, nuclear war, natural disaster and asteroid impact.

Climate change poses a significant threat to humanity, as a rise in sea levels would lead to an increased incidence and intensity of natural disasters, including floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms and drought.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines catastrophic climate change as a temperature increase of 1°C to 3°C above pre-industrial levels.

If the earth’s climate temperature increased by 2°C, subsequent floods would eliminate 280 million people, earthquakes would wipe out 17.6 million and drought/famine would result in 230.8 million fatalities, scientific studies have shown.

Global heating

According to research conducted by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the climate has warmed at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade since 1975.

The IPCC estimates that global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052, meaning the climate could reach 2°C as soon as 2055 — and that’s if warming takes place in a linear progression.

If the earth’s climate heated up to 44°C, catastrophic floods would wipe out the earth’s population due to melting glaciers causing sea levels to rise. If the world’s climate continues to warm at roughly 0.20°C per decade after hitting 2°C in 2055, this temperature would be reached in 2,136 years from today.

Bangladesh is the most likely location of origin for a catastrophic flood, having had 14 historic incidences of flooding since 2008.

Every so often a new speculation or conspiracy will go viral that claims that the end of the world is near. But how credible are these theories, and what is really the biggest threat to the global population?

Comprehensive guide

How Will the World End reveals how the world could really end by breaking down theoretical but conceivable infectious disease outbreaks, nuclear warfare, climate change induced natural disasters and asteroid impact events.

The comprehensive guide curates and analyses official reports, historic incidences and pioneering scientific studies to predict the potential location of origin for each event, estimate the likely death toll and calculate the total number of days until the global population is eliminated.

But it’s not just gradual temperature increase that could result in catastrophic climate change. According to Senior Meteorological Consultant Jim N R Dale, an asteroid impact could intensify global warming to a cataclysmic level.

He said: “An asteroid impact that was not immediately catastrophic is likely to increase the likelihood of climate change — more likely towards significant cooling.

“This would be due to the amount of gasses/debris released from the impact and subsequent masking of the sun’s light/heat, rather like history shows r.e. major volcanic activity.”

Catastrophic risk 

Alongside natural disasters, the world faces several other significant threats. These include infectious disease outbreaks, nuclear warfare and asteroid impact.

The 2018 Global Catastrophic Risks report suggests that mass destruction poses a larger threat today than it has for many years.

The comprehensive guide is released in the run up to World Environment Day. Hosted by China, the annual event seeks to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment, with this year’s focus on reducing air pollution.

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