What do you think the end of the world will be like? There are a lot of possible scenarios. Most of the scenarios on how the World will end do not seem like science fiction anymore. Nuclear button in the hands of a crazy dictator, deadly pandemics, climate change – all of these are now much more realistic than they were ever before. Our brains aren’t adept at thinking about catastrophic risks. However, we think that figuring out which theories of the onset of the apocalypse are the most common and what are their features is worth your attention.
Here’s what actually, may lead to humanity being extinct.
This is a dreadful scenario in which the explosion of a nuclear weapon widespread destruction and radioactive fallout, destroying our civilization and making part or all of the Earth uninhabitable.
You can witness it today with your own eyes. Russia has pushed Europe and the rest of the world to the verge of nuclear war. The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power facility in Ukraine is being deliberately shelled by Russian occupying forces. This isn’t a coincidence; it’s a premeditated strike designed to bring about worldwide disaster. Ukrainian Chernobyl 36 years ago became a generalized concept of global environmental and man-made disaster. Zaporizhzhya NPP is many times more powerful and dangerous than Chernobyl.
To date, nine countries own more than 13 thousand nuclear weapons, with Russia and the US leading the list. The meaning of this kind of apocalypse usually lies not so much in the fact that humanity has reached a level of almost complete self-destruction, but in how short-sighted people can be.
Viruses and Pandemics
Those who have had a chance to consciously live in 2020 will be able to talk about their personal experience of the coronavirus pandemic. However, although it was destructive in many ways, the world did not end. Other infamous pandemics include the Spanish flu that infected half a million people in 1918-1920 and killed more than fifty million, HIV, the 1980s force majeure that still plagues humanity, and of course the 14th-century plague that took lives from almost half of Europe’s population. The Black Death killed millions of people in Europe and Asia in just four months.
If something like this happens, and we cannot find a way to stop or control the infection, humanity may still be destroyed. After all, according to scientists, the number of viruses on Earth is 800 million per square meter – who knows what kind of threat they pose? Superviruses, mysterious strains that have become stronger over time to become resistant to antiviral drugs, is also a problem.
Scientists believe that due to superbugs and superviruses, diseases that people have already defeated may arise again. What’s more, thanks to the warming and melting of ice, researchers have discovered the DNA of a virus dating back thousands of years. If the old viruses break free, the end of humanity will be terrible.
Catastrophic changes in the planet’s climate
According to experts’ estimations, we have just 5 years to maintain global warming to reasonable levels. Global warming is projected to have disastrous consequences. This may be seen in real-time in a variety of locations. More frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought, and more intense and prolonged tropical storms.
Also, due to ice melting, ocean and sea levels will rise enormously, and most of the world as we know it will eventually disappear underwater. If we continue to emit carbon in the same quantities, the temperature will soon reach 26°C, which will cause irreparable damage to the existing world. Climate change has the potential to be catastrophic, yet we aren’t paying enough attention to it.
Environments are easily broken communities of living species interacting with their surroundings. Ecological systems can recuperate from a certain degree of damage, however, there is a point at which this will be impossible.
“Scientists have been talking about the prospects for a global “water crisis” for a long time. Recently, they warned that by 2025 the demand for water in the world will be half as much, and by that time, due to water shortages, the world will annually miss at least 130 million tons of food.
In particular, key aquifers in India or China, and West Africa will soon begin to fail due to water overruns. Scholars think that this period in history marks the start of a new geological era. Humans are the principal cause of influence in this new period, swiftly destroying what makes the world habitable, increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, and endangering the health of aquatic ecosystems.
Asteroids are space objects that orbit the sun and collide with the Earth on occasion. If an asteroid big enough will strike the Earth, the consequences would be cataclysmic. It might emit enough particles to cover the sun for months and produce a famine that kills hundreds of millions of people, according to scientists. The collision of a large asteroid or comet with the Earth can cause an explosion more powerful than all the nuclear bombs on the planet combined.
It is believed that such a collision led to the extinction of all terrestrial dinosaurs 66 million years ago. That asteroid could have been about 10-15 km in diameter, which means that 100,000,000 megatons of energy in TNT equivalent were released during its collision with the Earth.
In 2018, a 100-meter-wide space rock appeared out of nowhere and nearly hit the earth’s surface. According to NASA, there are currently 788 asteroids and meteorites near the Earth, in addition, 136 comets can crash into our planet at any time.
Large-scale volcanic eruption
It sounds unreal, but in fact, super-volcanism is a slow process, so it is unlikely that all the known volcanoes will erupt at the same time, submerging the world in lava, and leading to the end of the world.
Scientists suspect that massive cracks and holes in the ground, which constantly exude steady pulsations of lava, will cause many problems over time.
This seeping volcanic activity causes extinctions due to secondary effects rather than the eruption itself. Carbon dioxide, methane, and other deadly substances released can cause massive problems and lead to irreversible consequences.
The events caused by such shifts in the chemistry of the planet’s atmosphere can be truly catastrophic, but this kind of apocalypse will take a very long time
Biological and chemical warfare
Biological and chemical warfare, unlike nuclear weapons, which need intricate engineering, may be manufactured at a minimal cost and with readily available ingredients.
The Syrian government has deployed chemical weapons in the civil war that has decimated the nation in recent years. These chemical assaults, which used sarin and chlorine, shocked the entire community and demonstrated the devastation that chemical weapons can do. Toxic chemicals that have been weaponized might cause massive damage to a single target, such as if they were discharged into the air or the water supply.
Biological weapons are a far more dangerous menace. The threat of unscrupulous actors producing hazardous diseases for weaponization — or innocent researchers accidentally releasing a fatal infectious bug — has become very real thanks to advances in synthetic biology.
Simply put, this includes damage to all computerized structures. Cyberterrorism, cyberwarfare, cybercrime, and hacktivism are all here. Such a cataclysm would lead to widespread disruption of the Internet or economic collapse.
Ransomware that infects millions of computers around the world has already shown how just one class of attacks can have a huge impact: collateral damage is inflicted on many victims who were not even targeted. For example, a global attack on communications systems and satellites could cause chaos, disrupting the supply chains of food and other essential goods.
In general, there is a possibility that one day someone will create a virus so advanced that it will be able to overcome all cybersecurity barriers and disable the Internet. Think of everything that is powered by internet technology today: stock markets, hospitals, the military, the education system. If all of this suddenly stops, millions of lives will be negatively affected.
Climate change and nuclear weapons were mostly unknown until a few years ago. They’re hazards that we’ve already seen the devastation of — and that we fear will only become worse. As a result, it’s possible that we haven’t even considered what would most likely kill humanity.