Is this the Apocalypse?

DOOMSDAY preppers who fear the world will come to an end in a Hollywood styled zombie apocalypse blockbuster movie may feel some sense of vindication after top scientists identified six main dangers that could wipe out humanity.

The Global Catastrophic Risks 2016 report compiled a list of what events could wipe out 10 per cent or more of the population in a single hit within the next five years and beyond.

The six main dangers include killer robots, nuclear war, engineered viruses, climate change and natural events like super volcanoes and asteroids crashing into earth, superbugs and droughts.

But researchers aren't having a laugh, claiming the threats as "very real" and needing to be taken seriously by governments and global organisations like the World Health Organisation.

"The most significant ongoing risks are natural pandemics and nuclear war, whereas the most significant emerging risks are catastrophic climate change and risks stemming from emerging technologies," the report read.

"If a disease were to emerge that was as transmissible as the flu and as lethal as Ebola, the results could be catastrophic."

The report pointed to the impact of the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 which may have killed as much as five per cent of the world population.

"A large nuclear war between major powers would likely kill tens or hundreds of millions in the initial conflict, and perhaps many more if a nuclear winter were to follow," the report stated.

Co-founder of the Future of Life Institute Professor Max Tegmark said the global community needed to find a solution between the growing power of technology and how "we manage it".

"This requires a nuanced approach towards technological developments, acknowledging that technology carries some risks," he said.

Global Risks

Natural diseases and viruses

Nuclear war

Engineered viruses

Climate change

Disruption from artificial intelligence

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