Doomsday – 2025

A few hours after GEO-5’s release, the journal Nature published a review of evidence on environmental change concluding that the biosphere – the part of the planet that supports life – could be heading for rapid, possibly irreversible change.

The authors, headed by Anthony Barnofsky from the University of California, Berkeley, combined information on major transformations in the Earth’s past (such as mass extinctions) with models incorporating the present and the immediate future.

More than 40% of the Earth’s land is used for human needs, including cities and farms; and with the population set to grow by a further two billion by 2050, that figure could soon exceed 50%.

Rising demand for resource-expensive foods such as beef could mean it happens by 2025, Prof Barnofsky’s modelling suggests.
BBC News, 6 Jun 2012