Is human apocalypse so near and how safe is the human race on this planet. Well, the fact is, there is no room for complacency as serious threats are looming and can wipe out at least 10 percent of the human race in the next five years.
The latest Global Catastrophic Risks report paints a scary scenario saying that at least 740 million people could be wiped out from the face of Earth.
The GCR report sees short term and long term threats with six main dangers including killer robots, nuclear war, engineered viruses, climate change, superbugs and droughts as most prominent, reports News Corp.
“There are some things that are on the horizon and things that probably won’t happen in any one year but could happen,” Sebastian Farquhar from the Global Priorities Project said.
The authors also referred to the past epidemics that wiped out millions of people such as plague and the Spanish flu of 1918.
Noting that a global catastrophe risks not only everyone but also future generations, the report said threats from asteroids, super-volcanic eruptions, and other risks are the gravest.
Films like Deep Impact and Armageddon have already dramatized human extinction through the fantasy of an asteroid hit. But in 2013, a real-life asteroid hit Chelyabinsk, Russia, which was 20 meters wide and hurtled towards the Earth’s atmosphere at over 40,000 miles per hour, notes an Alternet report.
Fortunately, its relatively small size controlled the damage and destruction. It is unimaginable what would have happened if a miles-wide asteroid had hit the Earth. The explosion and the dust it would generate could block the sun. Besides wiping put human population, plant and crops would get erased and acid rain would have killed ocean life with firestorms in tow.
The report mentions the long-term threats, such as the rise of artificial intelligence, climate change, nuclear war and the outbreak of incurable diseases.
Farquhar said it is a myth that humans are the pinnacle of creation. He said the probability of some Artificial Intelligent systems out-competing humans cannot be ruled out. Though efforts are being made to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the rise of biological weapons is a concern as they can create deadly viruses.
Farquhar warned that militant groups like Islamic State can produce such viruses and urged for greater international coordination before it’s too late and we are already sliding into a human apocalypse.