Top 10 Dangers Facing Our Planet

Mother Nature is facing serious threats, and if not addressed they could lead to the end of the world as we know it. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 dangers facing our planet. For this list, we’re taking a look at those all-too-real threats that are plaguing the Earth right now. And if left unchecked, could spell catastrophe for the world as we know it. We’re not looking at hypothetical threats like solar flares and potential asteroid impacts, because we’ve already got you covered with the Top 10 Ways the World Might End in the Next 100 Years.
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Top 10 Dangers Facing Our Planet


Mother Nature is facing serious threats. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 dangers facing our planet.

For this list, we’re taking a look at those all-too-real threats that are plaguing the Earth right now. And if left unchecked, could spell catastrophe for the world as we know it. We’re not looking at hypothetical threats like solar flares and potential asteroid impacts, because we’ve already got you covered with the Top 10 Ways the World Might End in the Next 100 Years.

#10: Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

WMDs are an addition to the global arsenal that could make wars and terrorism even more deadly, whether through nuclear, biological, chemical or another threat. The Non-Proliferation Treaty was created to stem the spread of such weapons; however, some countries with nuclear capabilities are not signatories. Should an atomic weapon ever be used, the ensuing nuclear winter would be as devastating and difficult to survive as the bomb itself.

#9: Pollution/Landfills

We were raised to reduce, reuse, recycle; but pollution remains a threat – and we’re not just talking about litter. Chemicals enter the earth, air and water from garbage in landfills. Electronic waste is an intensifying issue, as discarded cell phones or computers leach lead, mercury or toxins. Meanwhile, excessive artificial light causes light pollution. And mismanaged disposal of radioactive waste by nuclear power plants or medical research facilities causes massive environmental problems, as well.

#8: Pandemic

There already exist infectious diseases that spread through the global community; from cholera and H1N1 to HIV/AIDS – the 1918 flu pandemic alone killed 3-5% of the world’s population. While these highly contagious illnesses proved devastating, they’re nothing compared to a pandemic that could wipe out humanity altogether. We’ve invented ways to combat such ailments; but that same industriousness could also be our downfall: between drug-resistant bacteria and weaponized viruses, our safety isn’t guaranteed.

#7: Global Economic Collapse

A nation’s economic problems affect more than just that country. The 20th century’s worst decline, the Great Depression, began in the U.S. but spread worldwide. The Eurozone crisis, which began in 2009, is an example of how it can happen today. In fact, many experts suggest we’re on course for another economic breakdown. If that’s the case, we can expect anarchy and the failure of law and order.

#6: Ocean System Collapse

Forces like overfishing, pollution, ocean acidification, a rise in sea temperature, and oil spills damage the world’s oceans. But if the world’s ocean systems were to collapse, more than the fishing and tourism industries would be devastated: coral reefs, marine life and several endangered species could face catastrophe in that scenario. Plus, since the oceans help balance the planet’s oxygen and carbon dioxide, they’re vital to the Earth’s survival.

#5: Poverty/Hunger

Despite organizations that wish to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, these remain persistent problems facing humanity – especially in developing countries. Impeding access to healthy food, education, medicine, and more, poverty affects children most – and extreme hunger only perpetuates the cycle of poverty. With food costs increasing thanks to weather changes that make certain regions unfavorable for agriculture, malnutrition is another effect of these difficulties.

#4: Energy Crisis

Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have consumed fossil fuel rapidly, and some experts suggest “peak oil” is right around the corner. The world has already lived through several energy crises, but what’s coming could be worse – the social and economic implications are far-reaching, and worldwide blackouts are not implausible. Renewable energy is a viable solution; but it must be clean to stem emissions that cause pollution and weather changes.

#3: Water Degradation/Scarcity

Due to overpopulation, pollution, climate change and other obstacles, many people live in areas plagued with water scarcity, with droughts gradually becoming a common problem around the world. Potable water is vital to the survival of life on Earth, because without it we must consume unsafe sources, which spreads diseases like cholera and dysentery. Conservation of fresh water is just one step to solving this issue, though that’s easier said than done.

#2: Extreme Weather

Whether or not you believe it’s a man-made problem caused by excessive emissions and greenhouse gasses; whether you call it global warming or climate change; it’s hard to deny the existence of the extreme and unpredictable weather patterns plaguing our planet. The repercussions of these changes are more far-reaching than a simple polar vortex: rising temperatures, droughts, diminishing air quality, human displacement and dwindling natural resources are just the tip of the melting iceberg.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Biodiversity conservation
- Habitat loss

#1: Overpopulation

Many of the devastating dangers our planet faces can be traced to this one problem. In 1950, the world’s population was approximately 2.5-billion; today it’s over 7-billion. With the number of births and our lifespans increasing, some doubt the Earth can sustain as many people as we’re producing – and issues like pollution, diminishing resources, species extinction and climate change might be the result, not to mention homelessness, pandemics and deforestation.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the scariest danger facing the planet? For more informative top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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