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For many millions of years life on Earth has carried on through changes of atmospheric conditions, warm periods and glacial epochs. At times major catastrophic events occurred such as volcanic eruptions or meteoritic impacts which killed off significant parts of the biological world. But the potential for a further flowering was always preserved. Of course, we humans are not just concerned with the continuity of life in general, but more with the continuity of our own species. The great apes and their evermore sophisticated descendants have existed for quite a few millions of years and anatomically modern humans for 100–200 thousand years. So, unless a universal nuclear conflagration destroys us, or if an end-of-Cretaceous type impact strikes unexpectedly, there seem to be no grounds for believing that our species coul not last another 100,000 years. But this does not say how many individuals of our species the Earth can support for a long period.


Global Warming Rich Country Global Management Meteoritic Impact United States Government Printing 
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12.8 Notes and references

  1. [1]
    Sjøberg, S. and Schreiner, C., 2007, Rose Report, University of Oslo.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Attali, J., 2007, Le Monde, 7–8 January.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Science: The Endless Frontier, 1945. A Report to the President by Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, July 1945, United States Government Printing Office, Washington.Google Scholar

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© Praxis Publishing Ltd. 2008

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