Stephen Hawking is known for his groundbreaking achievements in science, but many do not realize that the physicist is also recognized for making predictions about the future of humanity and Earth. This year the Oxford professor made some of the most unusual predictions to date, some of which may put a slight damper on your New Year’s festivities.
We Only Have 100 Years Left On Earth
Thanks to modern day health care, 100 years is nearly a lifetime, but in May, Hawking proposed that this is how long humans have left on Earth, Wired reported. This is a stark shift backward from the 1,000 years time limit that Hawking had predicted in 2016.
According to Hawking in his BBC science series, Tomorrow’s World, climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth are to blame for the new century-long doomsday clock.
Humans Have To Colonize Another Planet ASAP
In a BBC documentary released earlier this year, titled Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth, the physicist explained his prediction that soon the human species will have to leave Earth and repopulate somewhere else in the universe, either on a spacecraft or on another planet. The physicist warned that if humans don’t become a multi-planetary species and settle on other worlds, our species could die out within the next century.
Hawking first proposed this grim prediction in 2016, but revisited it again this year with supporting facts on why he believes the prediction could actually come true.
“Although the chance of a disaster on planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, becoming a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years,” explained Hawking in the documentary, Weather.com reported.
Earth Will Glow Red And Become As Hot As Venus
In July, Hawking told the BBC that humanity is at a “tipping point” where global warming would become so bad that Earth will “become like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees Celsius, and raining sulfuric acid.”
Venus is the second closest planet to the sun, and, as far as scientists are concerned, life there is impossible. Hawking also predicted that humanity’s natural greed would impede us from being able to properly address this problem, and that inevitable our best bet is to leave Earth completely.
By 2600, Earth Will Not Be Able To Keep Up With Population Growth
In November of this year, at a Tencent WE Summit, an annual forum where top scientists and professionals gather to share ideas on science and technology, Hawking predicted that due to the increasing human population, by 2600 the world’s electricity consumption will make our once blue planet glow fire-red, Geek Wire reported. According to Hawking, the global population has been doubling every 40 years, and our planet can only take so much.
“This exponential growth cannot continue into the next millennium,” explained Hawking, Geek Wire reported. “By the year 2600, the world’s population would be standing shoulder to shoulder, and the electricity consumption would make the Earth glow red-hot.”
AI Will Replace Humans And Take Over The World
In 2017, Hawking was quite vocal with his concerns regarding robots and artificial intelligence. In November, Hawking explained he believes that AI will reach a point where it will ultimately become a completely new form of life that will outperform and eventually replace humans, CNBC reported.
“I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself,” Hawking told Wired.