10 of the biggest risks to humanity's survival in the next 50 years, from nuclear war to supervolcanoes
Some of the world's biggest challenges, including climate change and political violence, extend far beyond any one nation's borders.Global catastrophes can occur for a number of reasons, and the Global Challenges Foundation's 2018 report highlights some of the main risks to humanity today. The foundation, created in 2012, works with researchers to publish annual reports on threats that could devastate at least 10% of the world's population. This year's report contributors include astrophysicist Martin Rees and multiple experts focused on disarmament affairs at the United Nations. Advertisement
According to the foundation, the next 50 years will set the pace for humanity's survival in the next 10,000 years.
"Why care now? Because so much is at stake, too little is done, and if we wait until later, caring may no longer matter," the report's authors said.Take a look at the 10 greatest challenges facing humans right now.
A nuclear explosion could trigger a "nuclear winter," with widespread famines to follow.
Technological progress in synthetic biology and genetic engineering is making it easier and cheaper to weaponize pathogens.Advertisement
Climate change will have devastating consequences.
A collapse of the global ecosystem could halt the Earth's ability to support a growing human population.Advertisement
By 2050, 10 million people could die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year.
An asteroid hitting the Earth could lead to global food shortages and the loss of millions of lives.Advertisement
A supervolcano eruption could have devastating effects on the Earth, but scientists can only anticipate such events a few weeks or months ahead of time.
The management of solar radiation is the only known way to quickly halt temperature increases, but this technology is not advanced enough to be used on a global scale.Advertisement
Intelligent machines could devastate humans if they are not controlled.
There are other risks to humanity that scientists have not even imagined yet.Advertisement
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