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Destroy earth

  1. Oct 23, 2007 #1
    i am not sure if this is the corect place to put this, but i guess it's right. i'm wondering about plausible ways to destroy the earth, or destroy all life on earth, the probablitlity, about how long it would take, and if it can be orchestrated by humans. stating which it would be (death of earth, or death of all life on earth) is preferable. methods that are not plausible are appreciated as well, if only to hear about the mechanics involved.
     
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  3. Oct 23, 2007 #2
    As you may know, our sun is going to explode in about five billion years. Surely, that must be the end of our live on earth. The only way of surviving is to escape.

    However, I think it is highly probable that we're going to destroy the earth much earlier. Since our climate is changing, I think it's possible that our atmosphere will loose it's protective nature in about a few hundred years.
    Maybe there will take place a third world war or something like this which can end in the extinction of the humanity. Although human beeings are vulnerable, it's not that simple to wipe out the whole civilization (eventually, some out of around 6 billion people will survive).
     
  4. Oct 23, 2007 #3
    release an enhanced version of smallpox. That'll do it.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2007 #4
    Well, if you count helium flashes as exploding...but if you do, then you get coronal mass ejections much more often and earlier that are functionally the same thing? (Which themselves have a good shot of causing severe havoc well before another 5 billion years pass.) Either way...it's a sure bet that the planet's going away for sufficient [tex]\Delta[/tex]t.

    If you tried hard enough, you could probably crash a large rock into the planet well before that. Wouldn't do much to the planet, but if it's big enough you could do away with many of the molecules needed to re-form life...at least until they get re-seeded.

    You can probably get *most* humans with a nuclear war or disease (just make sure the incubation time is long enough for it to spread first, total noob mistake there). But probably not all, so you're back to where you started in a few hundred or thousand years.

    Earth's a damn anomaly...once you manage to actually get life going, it's hard to turn off without something astronomical happening.
     
  6. Oct 23, 2007 #5
    well, everyone seems to be focusing on humans. even a few of the 'blow up earth' ones can still leave some small bacteria. no one seem to think about that. but they do have merrit for getting US off of earth.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2007 #6
    Maybe a catastrophic pole shift round about, say, 21 December 2012?
    That oughta do it for the 'all life on Earth' school of thought...

    Well OK, most of it then
     
  8. Oct 23, 2007 #7

    mgb_phys

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  9. Oct 23, 2007 #8
    yes... but not all of it. to put it simply, the only way to really destroy all life on earth is to destroy earth. everything i've seen that leaves earth intact, results in a still diverse life on earth. not as diverse as right now, but radiatition will cause mutations, causing the diversity to pack up again.
     
  10. Oct 24, 2007 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    When the sun expands we will actually orbit within the sphere! That should do it.

    Another planetary collision, or a collision with a large enough asteroid would do it. Earth 1 was hit so hard that we got the moon!
     
  11. Oct 24, 2007 #10

    G01

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    I thought the last pole shift happened with humans around? It couldn't have been that catastrophic if we're still here. Plus, that date is the end of the long count on the Mayan Calendar, as I'm sure you were aware. A lot of people consider that date as an "end of the world date," but by what I have heard it is more of a "There will be big changes." date. In other words, I don't think the world is going to end on that date just because the Mayan Calendar is starting a new long count.
     
  12. Oct 24, 2007 #11
    A Mayan prediction? Heck, we've got a card carrying *physicist* by the name of I. Newton who predicted the end of the world was scheduled *NO EARLIER* than 2060! So, who are you gonna base your eschatological beliefs upon, the Mayans or an actual respected physicist? :)
     
  13. Oct 24, 2007 #12
    Russia's already taken care of the development of it. All they need to do is execute it.

    Something more challenging... airborne polio? Super Spanish Flu?

    a pole shift might not be immediately deadly but we'd see an epidemic of cancer patients
     
  14. Oct 24, 2007 #13

    Art

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    Wandering into the sphere of influence of a black hole should do it nicely and won't even leave a mess to clean up.
     
  15. Oct 24, 2007 #14

    EnumaElish

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    Merger with the Andromeda?
     
  16. Oct 24, 2007 #15
    Some scientist believe that a huge methane gas explosion is responsible for the largest mass extinction on record. Most methane on Earth is frozen on the oceans floor.

    Most other's blame huge asteroid/meteor/comet's for all six mass extinctions.
     
  17. Oct 24, 2007 #16
    lol well there was a certain degree of levity in my original entry, perhaps I should have said an instant pole shift would result in global destruction; the last few flips - by all accounts - took around 7,000 years each.
    There does appear to be something afoot, the magnetic north pole currently being deeper into Northern Canada than usual.
    I'd argue that saying we're still here doesn't mean something wasn't catastrophic, it just means we weren't annihilated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2007
  18. Oct 24, 2007 #17
    Hi
    you might be missing a point there - if we're reducing the Mayans to palm-reader status on the basis of a prediction then the same rule must apply to Newton, why would something so unscientific as a prediction be any more credible just because it came from a paradigm-accepted source like Newton?

    The Mayans were competent physicists too, getting to grips with the workings of the universe and they were extremely competent astronomers capable of amazing feats of accuracy. Their abilities have earned them a high level of respect too, I just don't think they carried cards in those days.

    Alot of Newton's theories failed under Einstein's scrutiny, you could argue that Einstein lived in more modern times where the effects of speed could be more readily observed but the Mayans came long before Newton, you might question what the end of the long count really means but you don't hear anyone debunking them.
     
  19. Oct 24, 2007 #18
    hahaha nice...
    Pretty cool
    aint gonna happens
    unless WWIII breaks out
     
  20. Oct 25, 2007 #19
    the black hole would obviously work, but the merger with andromeda would only affect us if we were at the right place during the merger. but it seems the people here think that humans are the only living creatures on the planet.
     
  21. Oct 25, 2007 #20
    Yeah, I know that. I was just being a bit facecious. :)
     
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