A recent study published in the journal “Astrobiology”, suggests that there are four different scenarios for the development of civilization. Only one of these scenarios leads to its prolonged existence, which makes one question very sharp: “will we be able to cope with the changes that you make to the environment, developing”.
The study worked Professor of physics and astronomy from the University of Rochester Adam Frank. He argues that the laws of physics, any energy-intensive civilization like ours will inevitably receive feedback from the planet she inhabits. The further we evolve the more energy we use, thereby warming the planet and causing climate change. In fact, today we do not know how climate change can affect our lives.
From this point of view, the scientist explains four possible ways of development of our civilization and any other, and why we still have not met an extraterrestrial civilization.
Four possible ways
Together with his colleagues Frank developed a mathematical model that predicts the impact of rising energy consumption on the planet. His model includes knowledge of physics, chemistry and dynamics of population growth. We also used the information about the previous civilizations.
The result is only four possible options for the development of civilization. In three of them, civilization is doomed, and only in one possible favorable for people or other intelligent life outcome. A crucial role is played by the at what point in its development civilization is aware of the harmfulness of its influence on the environment.
All four options are presented in the graphs. A black line indicates the population growth of civilization, and the red line shows the temperature of the planet.
- The first scenario assumes that the development of civilization so much converts a planet that 90 percent of the population will not be able to exist.
- The second scenario assumes that civilization finds a balance between population growth and the growth of the harmful impact on the planet. Finding balance and the required level of population, in which the planet will cease to change, the civilization can exist.
- The third scenario is a too high population growth, in which the planet is not able to support it with the necessary resources.
- And in the fourth scenario civilization understands what has caused the changes of the planet with which to fight, but this realization comes too late.
Why we still have not met an extraterrestrial civilization
Frank and his team believe that climate change may be the answer to the famous question, called the Fermi paradox. Statistically, the existence of other intelligent civilization would almost certainly evolved in the universe, but, for some reason, we still have not seen evidence of this. Answer is that climate change does not allow any civilization to survive long enough to begin traveling to distant stars.
In other words, there is a barrier that does not allow any civilization to find another before the termination of its existence. If so, it appears that none of the civilizations are unable to find the same balance, allowing you to save yourself and your planet. Thus, theoretically, somewhere in the universe some civilization asked the question.
On Earth, we can also try to find a balance, but only under the condition that it is not too late.