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It’s the Final Countdown: What Is Likely to End Humanity?

Many of us remember the dinosaurs. We recall how they used to roam the earth and were the “king” of all the inhabitants on earth. We also remember what happened to them. An asteroid led to the extinction of 75% of all life on earth. Some of us wonder if that could happen to us - wonder if somehow, there will be an event that could wipe out humanity from the face of the earth. Here are some events likely to end the world:

1. Climate change

Maybe we’ve just read a climate change novel or movie and begun to realize that climate change is a major issue that could kill us. If you think that, it’s right. Out of all the other things listed in this article, climate change is in the number 1 spot or the most likely to happen (or happen first).

We’ve heard about climate change issues since most of us were children. Issues on global warming, greenhouse gas, ozone layer, polar caps melting, massive waste production, forest fires, biodiversity loss, pollution, and so much more have become more evident through the years. It’s no wonder that climate change is one of the most probable causes of death for all humans.

2. Global pandemic

I know what you’re thinking - COVID-19??? Well, not exactly. Something similar to it, maybe, something more airborne with smaller particles that could fly in the air more efficiently than COVID-19 does, is probably a better example of a global pandemic that could end the earth. This is likely to happen given that past pandemics like the Black Plague and the Spanish Flu of 1918 have killed millions of people. However, COVID-19 and other previous plagues have failed to end humanity.

Moreover, considering our advancements in globalization and how easy it has become to travel and transport goods, a pandemic can hit areas with denser populations and slowly spread to other areas allowing worldwide transmission similar to COVID-19. However, it isn’t always likely that one virus or strand could kill everyone or a whole population because of biodiversity. There will always be a small group that is likely to survive. Thus, the complete annihilation of an entire race is not very likely.

3. Nuclear War

Nuclear war is possible due to the many nuclear weapons and atomic bombs stored and kept by many countries to protect themselves or retaliate if necessary. We’ve all heard about how destructive nuclear bombs can be, especially from the stories we hear from the Hiroshima- Nagasaki Bombing in World War II. As long as these weapons are still being stored, the possibility of a nuclear war happening will always remain.

However, if you’re a war fanatic or just really good at history, you could tell that this is not likely to happen. Even if another war were to break out, superpowers’ use of atomic bombs would be improbable because of M.A.D. or the concept of mutually assured destruction. It employs the principle of deterrence based on the notion that a nuclear attack by one superpower would be met with an overwhelming nuclear counterattack - resulting in both countries being annihilated.

4. Asteroid Impact

Oh no, not another dinosaur reference - Asteroid impacts similar to the ones dinosaurs experienced before are still a possibility. They say that if an asteroid similar in size to that of the Chicxulub impact were to happen again today, it could wipe out civilization as we know it.

However, on the brighter side, we have a lot more technology to track and detect any incoming asteroids that would come towards the earth. With the number of spacecraft we already have, scientists can always deflect steroids by orchestrating a carefully calculated crash with a spacecraft to deflect the asteroid from the earth.

5. Artificial Intelligence

Much research has gone into the development of artificial intelligence to help make our lives easier and allow humans to do lesser work. However, the growing advancements in technology and science have left many wondering if a superintelligence that we created could become smart enough to overthrow humankind.

However, on a positive note, most artificial intelligence systems are still very friendly to humans and can still be controlled by humans - like the hands in a puppet. This means that this threat may always be there as long as we research ways to improve A.I., but it is still less likely to happen, and there is still a long way to go if this were to happen.

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