Civilization on Earth will probably be killed off in one of three ways, scientists have concluded.
Using math models, a team from the University of Rochester in New York calculated what would happen to the planet as the population grows and the effects of climate change inflict chaos.
The researchers found that human civilization could go through a soft landing, a gradual die-off or full-blown collapse.
A die-off is when 70 percent of life on Earth is wiped out before things go back to normal.
This was found to be by far the most likely outcome.
A soft landing was the most positive outcome.
But this only happened when a civilization adapted to its radically changing weather and sea levels and therefore avoiding a mass extinction.
A full-blown collapse will mean our planet was too sensitive to recover from damage caused by humankind. In this case, all intelligent life will perish very quickly.
In this doomsday scenario even when planets switched to renewable fuels to save themselves from extinction, the damage done was sometimes so bad it could not be reversed.
The scientists also applied their models to the possible histories of alien worlds.
They called these societies “Exo-civilizations,” and learning from their mistakes could help us prepare for climate change’s effect.
Writing in The Atlantic, coauthor Professor Adam Frank said: “Given that more than 10 billion trillion planets likely exist in the cosmos, unless nature is perversely biased against civilizations like ours, we’re not the first one to appear.
“That means each exo-civilization that evolved from its planet’s biosphere had a history: A story of emergence, rising capacities, and then maybe a slow fade or rapid collapse.
“And just as most species that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct, so too most civilizations that emerged (if they emerged) may have long since ended.
“So we’re exploring what may have happened to others to gain insights into what might happen to us.”
By Patrick Knox, The Sun