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Apocalypse is coming: scientists are pessimistic

October 31 2006
20:32

Life on Earth is at the ever growing threat of destruction disaster such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought. This is the opinion of the world-renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking.

But scientists at Utrecht University under the direction of Ian Van Dam, believe that the disaster will not happen too soon 2252006 October 31, that is, from the date of the Apocalypse separate us two and a quarter million years.

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This conclusion, geologists and paleontologists have come by studying fossils in Spain, whose age exceeds 22 million years. The Expert Group found that the average life expectancy of mammals - 2,5 million years. Consequently, modern man its 250 thousand years have already used.

According to the experts, every 2.5 million years under the influence of various astronomical factors shift of Earth orbit.

This shift does not allow the Earth to the Sun closer to the required distance, which leads to the cooling on a gigantic scale.

Presumably, the next glacial period, which will occur after that time, will destroy all life.

Go to another, less optimistic forecast could come as early as 2050.

World Wildlife Fund issued a report saying that a catastrophe will occur by mid-century if the world will continue or increase the rate of resource consumption. In recent decades, the nature of "suffering an unprecedented loss in the history of mankind."

For example, from 1970 to 2003, the number of representatives of the Earth's fauna has decreased by 31%. This means that humanity is consuming resources too quickly, and nature is no longer able to recover at a pace.

The study authors believe that if in the near future are not taken decisive action to protect nature, the ecosystem will suffer enormous damage.

The situation is complicated progressive climate change, a process that negatively affects productivity. And that could lead to the fact that in 2050 the world will starve to 50 million more than now, most of them - in Africa.

By the way, climate change is affecting Africa right now. Average temperatures on the continent grew by 0.5 degrees over the past 100 years. However, in some areas the temperature rose much more strongly. For example, in Kenya for the past 20 years has been at 3.5 degrees higher.

"Global warming will lead to the fact that many dry areas become drier and wet - even wetter. People will be trapped between the horror of the blue seas, droughts and floods," - says Andrew Simms from the "New Economics Foundation."

The most tragic about this whole situation, he said, that Africa is virtually no way contributed to global warming, which is the result of the economic activities of the rich industrial countries.

Constantine Dyatlov

The Source: Interfax , Air Force

Константин Дятлов

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