How long will life survive on Planet Earth?


Staff member
Found a great easy to digest article on the BBC website.

Life on Earth will surely be wiped out eventually. But how long does it have, and what will it take to sterilise the entire planet?


I`m sure it`s a great topic we can discuss here on Gigarank.


New member
We are the only species that has a great chance of accelerating the process. We could create any number of environmental catastrophes - full blown nuclear war could kill everything on the planet in very short order. Environmental catastrophes like chemical spills, creating a crazy bio-warfare weapon that gets loose could take longer. We could drill into the wrong spot and cause a volcanic eruption ...

Without us, life could and probably would continue for many more millions of years except for an incredibly severe astrological or geological event.


Staff member
I'm worried as all of our "progress" over the last few decades have led to massive destruction of natural resources. Like over pollution of the oceans, of the rivers, mountains. Who has seen a rotten apple lately. Everything is being genetically prepped for long shelf life. Fruit is rarely ripe or genuinely fresh. Goes for most food. Humans are great to adjust, but I wonder whether all of the chronic diseases that have taken off at a clip over the last few decades don't have to do with mass production and consuming more than we need. Sooner or later we're going to run out of space and maybe earth will take its vengeance in protecting itself against destructive humans.


New member
As great as our society is today - it's no grander than the Romans. They lasted 1000 years or so, and we're heading down the same paths. In the end, Rome self-destructed. They could no longer support lavish lifestyles for non-productives like politicians, bureaucrats, and armies.

After the fall of Rome came the dark ages. We're headed for that - except there will be toxic and nuclear waste dumps that nobody will know anything about, or how to deal with them. So even if society collapsed we could STILL destroy the world! :yahoo:
It all depends on how you look at it. If you want to take the christian version of the bible, It has already started and we are just waiting for the last anti-christ to emerge. If that happens, then the world will be destroyed by a nuclear war.

If you were to follow Notre Dominus, we will be wiped out by natural disasters. Which, if you are following the news, could be starting now with all the earth quakes and typhoons.

Then there is the free masons. They say that we need a cleansing as out population is getting out of hand now and destroying things.

So, its really hard to say how or when the earth will be destroyed. And I am sure other religions have some prophesies of the end of humanity.


New member
I will moving into the Mars if the earth will be destroyed. Maybe aliens give me a good job out there. Who knows ? :search:


New member
Yeah, I'm not big on religion and prophecy. The freemasons might be on to something though, we are extremely overpopulated. We are a natural disaster to all other life on the planet - worse than a plague of locusts.
I quite frankly do not know how to respond this this and other questions like it of such enormity, I'd like to hope that we as a species can come to terms with what IS coming but for as long as we are only really concerned with 'the now' I cannot see that happening.

Money is the only real driving force in this world for humans and I believe for as long as this is so we have very little hope of any real changes happening I am sorry to say.


I doubt humans will have much impact on how long life on earth will survive. We can cause mass extinction, sure, but it will not come close to a total wipe out of all lifeforms.

I think the bigger and hotter sun is going to be what eventually kills all life. The article mentioned something about the carbon dioxide disappearing but I don't understand the process so I have no idea, but if it happens it sure sounds like it could wipe out a lot the higher lifeforms.

When it happens, humans will be long gone. The last survivors will probably be single-celled organisms deep down inside the earth crust, or at the bottom of the deepest oceans (if oceans still exist).


New member
Interesting topic.

Perhaps I have read too much Arther C. Clarke, Scientific American, etc., but I suspect life is very resilient, new forms will evolve to fill the niches if some extinction level event (but not sterilization level) happened. Only something catastrophic (nova, complete atmosphere loss, SEVERE planetary impact, runaway Global Warming on the scale of Venus) would only be able to completely sterilize the planet. And perhaps, even if Homo Sapiens is wiped out, a new sentient species could arise (I apologize if I am offending any Torah/Bible/Koran literalists).

On the other hand, perhaps the question should be how long will Homo Sapiens survive? And will he cause his own extinction? How? Overpopulation? Global Warming (reducing arable land in the process)? By overusing antibiotics and germicides causing the rise of supergerms? Lack of resources due to over consumption? Collapse of the food chain due to species loss?

Other events (Yellowstone caldera super eruption, for example; Harry Turtledove wrote an interesting series of novels on the after effects of such an event) would most likely cause mass die off and collapse of culture, but not necessarily the extinction of Homo Sapiens.

Perhaps Homo Sapiens are still children, and will become adults only when the species reaches the stars.