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Reviews scientifically the physical conditions for humanity’s survival on Earth over the next 1000 centuries
Presents comprehensively the dangers, challenges and threats to humankind and nature on Earth
Analyses the interacting factors affecting the future sustainability of Earth’s climate, energy, minerals, water and agriculture
Stresses the importance of the active management of the resources on which life on Earth depends
Highlights the influence of Earth observations from space on the technical, scientific and political tools required to ensure survivability
Stresses the importance of taking decisions in the 21st century to ensure the long-term survival of people on Earth
The circumstances that will shape the long-term future of our planet will be constrained by what is physically possible and what is not. This full color book provides a quantitative view of our civilization over the next 100,000 years, in comparison to the 40-60,000 years it took for modern humans to emerge from Africa, on the basis of contemporary scientific and technological knowledge. The evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere and the origin of water are highlighted as the most important factors for the emergence and the development of life.
The authors consider both cosmic and natural hazards, pointing out that scientific information provided by satellites and communication systems on the ground could prevent many unnecessary casualties by forward planning and the installation of elementary precautions. The Earth’s evolving climate is considered, showing how greenhouse gases have played an important role in the past climate, whereas human industrial and agricultural emissions will greatly impact our future.
Content Level »Popular/general
Keywords »Greenhouse gas - Star - Wind - climate change - end of civilization - energy technology changes - global catastrophe - human extinction - renewable energy - satellite - survival of humankind - technological sustainability
A Brief History of the Earth.- Cosmic Menaces.- Terrestrial Hazards.- The Changing Climate.- Climate Futures.- The Future of Survivability: Energy and Inorganic Resources.- The Future of Survivability: Water and Organic Resources.- Leaving Earth: From Dreams to Reality?.- Managing the Planet’s Future: The Crucial Role of Space.- Managing the Planet’s Future: Setting-Up the Structures.- Conclusion.