10 Horrifying Scientific Predictions
What is the future of humanity?
As for the accuracy of the information goes, none can beat scientific findings. They are the results of fact-finding research collected over countless person-hours and backed with evidence. Scientific predictions have for ages shaped out the outlook of the planet and the future of everything in it that is currently in the hands of human species. Scientific forecasts on the future of humanity are never good, and this is because humanity has proved over and over again how self-destructive they can be. In the blind pursuit of its preservation, humanity keeps destroying the same things upon which its survival hangs upon entirely. So, what are some of the most horrifying scientific predictions that have been made regarding the future of humanity? Let’s find out!
Climate change has been an iron noose around humanity’s neck for over a century now, and it does not show any signs of slowing down. According to scientists, the planet only has a little over a decade to change how energy is used to reduce the impact of climate change before it is too late. Once the tipping point is reached, then all hope of reversing the ravages of climate change will be impossible.
The modern world has higher probabilities of pandemic outbreaks than ever before, couple that with how easy travelling has become; then you have yourself a ticking time bomb. Experts have warned that antibiotics are being rendered ineffective every year as viruses mutate, and they believe that by 2050 deaths caused by resistant pathogens will increase to 10 million a year compared to the current 700,000 annual deaths.
Since the consumption of fossil fuels has been on a non-stop full throttle for the last 200 years, researchers have predicted a global energy crisis that will be caused by the high demand for energy against a decline in coal and biofuel reserves. If this pace of consumption is sustained, oil reserves will completely run out in the next 50 years. Most of the current industries, including food production, will be rendered defunct.
Asteroids large enough to cause a total wipe-out hit the planet once every 120,000 years, with many other small ones in between. In 2011, NASA mapped out space objects that were bigger than a mile in radius that is likely to hit the planet. In the event that an asteroid of that size strikes the earth, it would displace enough dust into the atmosphere to block the sun and cause famine wiping out hundreds of millions.
In recent years, the development of Artificial Intelligence has turned into a race. There are benefits of using AI, but experts have also warned of the dangers of granting too much power to technology. At the current pace of technological advancement, the world will be a different place a century from now, and the possibility of that future being run by artificially intelligent machines is not far-fetched.
It is one thing to have diseases popping out from the natural world, but it is an entirely different situation when it becomes possible for these diseases to be engineered in the lab with the sole purpose of using them against fellow humans. The same goes for chemical warfare, where toxic chemicals are weaponized and used to end lives. Increased use of poisonous gases like Sarin and VX in conflicts is a potential future reality.
It took over 200,000 years for human population to reach a billion for the first time. But it has taken only 200 years for that number to hit 7 billion people. If that rate of population growth is maintained, the world will be home to 8 billion people by 2025, and another 1 billion people will have been born by 2050. With resources diminishing, sustaining such a population will put a strain on nature and may lead to civil unrest, hunger and the spread of diseases.
The quality of the air is expected to worsen, even further increasing respiratory diseases. Massive industrialization, mining and deforestation that have been the hallmarks of the last century have led to an increase in toxic substances in the air. Vehicular emissions in urban centres only serve to make air conditions worse for living organisms. Scientists have predicted that air pollution will be the number one killer by the year 2050 with annual deaths caused by it jumping up to 6 million.
With every decade that becomes warmer due to climate change, food production around the globe shrinks by 2%— 4 million metric tons of food. Africa and Asia will be the hardest hit as they are the food baskets of the world. Access to clean water is already a problem in the current world, with over 40% of people experiencing a shortage of it. According to MIT researchers, about 5 billion of the predicted 9.7 billion people in 2050 would be living in water-stressed areas with no means to irrigate their farms.
Cyber Warfare has become the centrepiece of all major global conflicts in the last decade, and signs show that this is just the beginning. With most of the daily-life routines and services like healthcare, banking, education, and security embracing technology, they have also opened themselves to interference from malicious forces. In the future, hackers could, for instance, disable a country’s energy grid and bring everything to a halt, from hospitals to their defence leading to significant life losses and property damage.