By: Jillian Baxter
Anything on your to-do list? UK-based marketing agency Blueclaw claims you have about 2,136 years until climate change spurs a series of unsurvivable catastrophes that decimate the whole of the human population and commences what we like to call “the end the world.” Better get moving!
The online guide How Will the World End predicts our demise, analyzing the impact that extreme weather events, disease, nuclear war, and even an asteroid collision would have on the world’s population. Glen Davies, Blueclaw Senior Public Relations Specialist, says “[it was made] to show what can be done with good data and comments by experts. After coming across a small part of the data, it just inspired us to create the guide from there.”
To assess climate change, the guide uses the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s definition of catastrophic climate change - a temperature increase of 1ºC to 3ºC- and a NASA study on the rate of global warming to surmise that the end of the world would occur if earth’s climate heats up to 44ºC, roughly 2,136 years from today. At this temperature, melting glaciers and rising sea levels would cause calamitous floods that would wipe out the earth’s population. Rising sea levels and global temperatures would also double the impact and prevalence of tsunamis, increase the danger of low-level earthquakes, intensify major storms and hurricanes, and increase the likelihood of drought and famine.
Like climate change, diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and ebola have the potential to end humanity on earth, according to the guide. If left untreated, a tuberculosis outbreak today would result in 30,684 deaths after one week, and the entirety of the human population would succumb in 4,812.5 years. A malaria outbreak would take 19,036 years to wipe out humanity, and ebola would take 6,533,901 years.
In the event of nuclear war, it would take 5,351 detonations of the largest historic nuclear device in the US’s arsenal, the B41, to annihilate the global population. Russia could eradicate the global population after 4,206 detonations of its most powerful weapon, the RDS-220 Tsar Bomba. The deadliest weapon in China’s arsenal would take 10,663 detonations, and the strongest in North Korea’s would take 29,261 detonations.
In the unlikely event of an asteroid impact, the guide estimates that the asteroid would hit North America, home to the highest number of impact craters on earth. To polish off humanity, the asteroid would have to be about 10km in diameter. One of the largest celestial objects considered potentially dangerous to earth is Florence, an asteroid only 4.9 km in diameter. If it hit Mother Earth, Florence would kill 1.2 billion people.
So minimize your carbon footprint, get your vaccines, ease global political tensions and, um, hope that all celestial matter goes wide one way or the other, and perhaps humanity can survive long past 2,136 years from now.