5 Things That Will Happen To Earth In The Next 100 Years
Planet Earth is constantly changing. Whether we notice it or not, both small and massive transformations take place on our planet everyday. Whether it’s a falling tree or tectonic shift, something, somewhere, changes irreversibly.
So, it’s not uncommon to ask ourselves, what will these evolutions look like at the end of the century? It’s fair to guess our world will look differently than it does in present day, and who knows, maybe it will be more than physical change, but also a shift in how we live our daily lives.
Even if it’s only theories, there are facts and scientific predictions to backup our imaginations, so from a shrinking animal kingdom, to a telescope that will expand our known universe, here are 5 things that will happen to Earth in the next 100 years…..
The immediate image you might think of when hearing “underwater cities” is a hidden, majestic world of water dwelling communities, much like folktales of Atlantis. However, the idea of submerged villages and coastal cities in this context is much more volatile.
For 800 years, humans have been tracking sea level measurements around the world. And for the past few decades, researchers have calculated rising sea levels unlike they’ve ever seen. Of course, the direct reasoning behind such drastic changes is the melting ice caps and other frozen habitats heating up. The channels of ice sheets add thousands of liters of water per day to the ocean, impacting the rest of the world on land…
Studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year forecast that the sea level will continue to rise 2 meters over the next one hundred years. However, this is based purely on speculation and current trends. The researchers on the panel admit that increasing global temperatures can increase polar melting, which will speed up the rising seas. So, while 2 meters seems insignificant, that’s just a rough estimate and it could go much higher…
The effects of such a rise would be quite disastrous. 44% of the world’s population resides in coastal cities, and higher sea levels would force many people to move elsewhere. The economics of such cities would enter depressions, and the cost of living would skyrocket.
Thus, cities could be abandoned for more midland settings. The increasing possibility of flash floods would impose better chances of destruction, and the recent blizzard disasters in Boston, Massachusetts that froze city streets would be much more common. On top of it all, tiny coastal villages across foreign countries would have no means to protect themselves with sea walls or preventative measures, thus falling into ghost town status.
So while it’s safe to say no major cities will be on the ocean floor in 100 years, sea levels could make living near water a very major issue, bordering on catastrophic, if our carbon emissions and global upkeeping doesn’t improve… The question is do you think we can prevent such a thing or is it inevitable?
When most people hear the word “extinction,” we conjure up ideas of the ice age coming to an end or meteor strikes wiping out the dinosaurs. However, endangered species leaving our planet forever occurs much more than you think, usually without public notice.
Since the origins of humankind, we’ve seen hundreds upon thousands of animal species fall extinct before our very eyes, and in the next 100 years, the number of extinctions will only grow faster.
Louie Psihoyos, a filmmaker for National Geographic and director of the humanitarian documentary “The Cove,” recently made a statement claiming that in the next 100 years, we could see half of the Earth’s animal population disappear forever. He’s cited many reasons why, from climate change and habitat destruction, to overfishing and overconsumption. Many sea creatures and other marine life find their species’ numbers rapidly decreasing heavily due to the Chinese black market. Massive amount of carbon emissions are killing vital ecosystems, to many birds and other creatures who make home near cities and human populations. Even away from civilizations, big game poachers are killing animals despite heavy preventative measures.
The one positive point to all of these monstrosities is animal extinction can mostly be prevented. If we as a society come together to protect nature and the bountiful animal life that walks the Earth, we can help other species sustain for the next 100 years and beyond. If not, many breeds such as orangutans, gorillas, tigers, elephants, rhinos, turtles, and leopard species will be a thing of the past. Even salmon, the most common fish used for consumption, could be gone from the Earth, leaving us with Chinese-farmed synthetic salmon. It’s a scary proposition to think and, is a topic we are very passionately working on…
While the future of climate change and carbon emissions may seem grim with countless negative side effects, the number one CO2 output may be completely demolished in the next 100 years anyway. Experts at Georgetown University suspect that by 2040, 90% of the automobiles on the road will be electric, and soon after, gasoline powered vehicles will be no more.
The researchers say that while a vast transformation to an all-electric landscape seems far off, all the industry needs is to pass a certain threshold and then it will boom faster than we realize, much like the smartphone boom after the turn of the century. The threshold in question might rest in the hands in our government, and be on the brink of the horizon. Norway has stated it will ban the sales of fossil fuel burning cars by 2025, with the Netherlands, France, and the U.K. making the same promise for 2040. Germany and China, the two leaders in the automobile industry, have pledged similar ideas without a set timeframe. With a governmental ban on gasoline vehicles, combined with a promising boom in battery efficiency and incredible cost benefits of electric motors, the roadways will not only run on electricity, but without CO2 emissions as well.
On top of this, the researchers add that autonomous cars will dominate society as well. Stanford economist Tony Seba says that by 2030, 95% of passenger miles will be in self-driving vehicles. As the technology continues to run successful tests in major cities in Boston, Dubai, and China, more and more companies are implementing autonomous builds into their lineup, with services such as Uber and Lyft starting to build a path towards self-driving cars.
The economic results in such changes would save the average driver $9,000 for every 15,000 miles driven. Car maintenance would cheapen drastically, with electric cars only needing service for 20 moving parts instead of 2,000. Driving services would cost as little as pennies per mile, lessening the burden on those who rely on taxis and public transport. Best of all, 3.2 billion tons of carbon emissions per year would be eradicated, or 60% of the world’s CO2 output. Not only would we be traveling in cost-effective ways, but in 100 years, maybe we’ll take a step in tackling climate change forever with such a simple energy… Electricity…
2A World Of Robotics
In almost every science fiction story that takes place in a futuristic Earth, robots and artificial intelligence play major roles in society. Many times the robots take over the planet and the A.I. sabotages human communities. While the sinister nature of such scenarios is largely make-believe, the idea of simple robots and other intelligent computers roaming our world will soon be the farthest from “fiction.”
Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, recently stated that the exponential growth of technology and robotics will hit a worldwide platform in our economic systems within the next 100 years and possibly sooner. He says that with recent spikes in computing power, internet speeds, information sharing, and 3D printing all contribute to the rapidly booming robot commerce. If one uses the trends researched by Google and other major tech corporations, then you can see that by 2025, robots will make up almost $70 billion dollars of our global market, with the majority of robotics coming out of military, industrial, commercial, and personal sectors.
While this may seem like a prediction decades in the making, it holds more weight than ever before. Really, we’re already seeing robots and artificial intelligence introduce themselves into our everyday lives. From talking devices such as Amazon Alexa, to self-motored cleaning apparatus, to fascinating surgical robots like the da Vinci Surgical system that once stitched a grape back together, these advances in technology surround us and will only become more common and better understood.
Of course, it does come with slight precautions. As with any computer system, new artificial intelligent machines always have the vulnerability to be hacked, and it’s quite scary to think about what the powerful hackers of the world might do with a handful of robots wired to respond only to them. So while Google and Apple and other conglomerates work hard to produce a world of robotic technology, let’s hope they remember that safety measures to protect us from ourselves should be the number one goal….
1A Universe Uncovered
Probably the most exciting opportunity we’ll have here on Earth in 100 years takes place light years upon light years away from our actual planet. In recent years, the European Southern Observatory laid down a concept called OWL, also known as the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope. The title of such a project is pretty self-explanatory. With a planned aperture of 100 meters in diameter, a telescope of such proportions could accurately analyze detailed, Earth-sized planets around 40 of the nearest sun-sized star systems. This would give scientists the ability to research exoplanets and possible extraterrestrial life. The mammoth spectrum of the OWL could reveal life-wielding molecules and other living organisms that previous technologies like the Hubble Space Telescope couldn’t see.
Right now, the problem with building one immediately is due to the gargantuan size and cost of building such a machine. Creating a “segmented mirror” that the OWL would require is simply unaffordable to current scientists, but with years of funding and further research into telescopic architecture, building the OWL is certainly feasible. Current researchers at the European Southern Observatory say that practice with smaller-built OWL’s could give them the experience needed to take on a 100-meter sized aperture, providing optimism to the hopes of building the original design.
Just think, within 100 years, we will probably have the lens to view planets and their inhabitants that we never knew existed. The idea that there’s zero life out in the infinite universe isn’t plausible, and with increased abilities, who knows what we’ll uncover. Maybe we’ll find resources to help sustain our own planet, or maybe a form of life that defies our laws of physics and gives new meaning to our existence. Who knows for sure, but it sure will be a fascinating century as these dreams become reality…
For the Top5s video version of this checkout this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93tyiap0naE