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9 Ways The Earth Could End According To Science

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Hollywood loves Doomsday, film producers have through the years looked at the popularity of this genre as a way to make money. However, there are some truths in these films. In an article from CBSNEWS, scientists concluded there were 9 possible ways that life on Earth could end. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 9 Ways The Earth Could End According To Science


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9 Ways The Earth Could End According To Science
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about
  • HOLLYWOOD LOVES DOOMSDAY.
  • Film producers have through the years looked at
    the popularity of this genre as a way to make
    money. However, there are some truths in these
    films. In an article from CBSNEWS, scientists
    concluded there were 9 possible ways that life on
    Earth could end.

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1. Climate change
  • The mother of all apocalyptic fears, climate
    change is the biggest threat facing the planet,
    many scientists say. Climate change could make
    extreme weather more severe, increase droughts in
    some areas, change the distribution of animals
    and diseases across the globe, and cause
    low-lying areas of the planet to be submerged in
    the wake of rising sea levels. The cascade of
    changes could lead to political instability,
    severe drought, famine, ecosystem collapse and
    other changes that make Earth a decidedly
    inhospitable place to live.

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2. Asteroid!
It's the mainstay of disaster movies, but
scientists are legitimately worried that a space
rock could wipe out Earth. A meteor impact
probably doomed the dinosaurs, and in the
Tunguska event, a massive meteoroid damaged about
770 square miles (2,000 square kilometers) of the
Siberian forest in 1908. Even more frightening,
perhaps, is that astronomers only know about a
fraction of the space rocks lurking in the solar
system.
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3. Pandemic threat
New deadly pathogens crop up every year Recent
pandemics have included outbreaks of SARS (severe
acute respiratory syndrome), bird flu, and, most
recently, a coronavirus called MERS that
originated in Saudi Arabia. And because of our
highly interconnected, global economy, a deadly
disease could spread like wildfire. "The threat
of a global pandemic is very real," said Joseph
Miller, co-author (along with Ken Miller) of the
textbook "Biology" (Prentice Hall, 2010).
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4. Fungus among us
Though bacterial threats are dangerous, fungal
threats are even scarier, said David Wake,
curator at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at
the University of California, Berkeley. "We've
had a new amphibian fungal disease that has just
had devastating effects," Wake said of the
chytrid fungus that is wiping out frogs across
the United States. An equally fatal fungus in
humans would be catastrophic. And though bacteria
are deadly, antibiotics are plentiful. By
comparison, we know much less about treating
fungal infections, Wake told LiveScience.
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5. Engineered disease
Natural diseases aren't the only ones to fear. In
2011, the scientific community was outraged that
researchers had engineered a mutant version of
the bird flu H5N1 that was transmissible in
ferrets and transmitted via the air. The results
sparked fears that engineered deadly diseases
could inadvertently escape from the lab or be
intentionally released, leading to a global
pandemic.
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6. Nuclear war
Many scientists are still worried about the
classic end-of-the-world threat global nuclear
war. Beyond North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's
saber rattling and Iran's secretive nuclear
efforts, massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons
around the globe could wreak destruction if they
were to get into the wrong hands. Last year, the
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a nontechnical
magazine on global security founded in 1945 by
former Manhattan project physicists, moved the
Doomsday Clock, at five minutes to midnight. The
Doomsday Clock shows how close humanity is to
destruction via nuclear or biological weapons or
global climate change.
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7. Robot ascension
"The Terminator" may be science fiction, but
killing machines are not far from reality. The
United Nations recently called for a ban on
killer robots -- presumably because experts
worried that several countries were developing
them. Many computer scientists think the
singularity, the point at which artificial
intelligence overtakes human intelligence, is
near. Whether those robots will be benevolent
helpers or the scourge of humanity is still up
for debate. But a lot can go wrong when there are
hyperintelligent robots armed with lethal weapons
running around.
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8. Overpopulation
The fear of an overpopulated globe has been
around since the 18th century, when Thomas
Malthus predicted that population growth would
cause mass starvation and overtax the planet.
With the global population at 7 billion and
counting, many conservationists think population
growth is one of the key threats to the planet.
Of course, not everyone agrees Many think
population growth will stabilize in the next 50
years, and that humanity will innovate its way
out of the negative consequences of the
overcrowding that does occur.
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9. Snowball effect
Though each of these scenarios could happen, most
scientists think a snowball effect of multiple
events is more likely, Miller said. For instance,
global warming could increase the prevalence of
pathogens while also causing widespread shifts in
climate. Meanwhile, ecosystem collapse could make
it slightly harder to produce food, with no bees
to pollinate crops or trees to filter
agricultural water. So, instead of an epic
catastrophe, several relatively small factors
would slightly worsen life on Earth until it
gradually degraded, Miller said. In that
scenario, the downfall of Earth is not dramatic,
"like being attacked by a saber-toothed tiger,"
Miller told LiveScience. "It's more like being
nibbled to death by ducks."
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Thankyou
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