Washington: A new study has revealed that the combination of earth-based science of sustainability and the space-oriented field of astrobiology can shed light on the future of technological civilization on Earth and is the planet first and only technologically-intensive culture in Universe.
Human-caused climate change, ocean acidification and species extinctions may eventually threaten the collapse of civilization, according to some scientists, while other people argue that for political or economic reasons industrial development should be allowed without restrictions.
In the paper, two astrophysicists argue that these questions may soon be resolvable scientifically, thanks to new data about the Earth and about other planets in our galaxy, and by combining the earth-based science of sustainability with the space-oriented field of astrobiology .
Astrophysicists Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan call for creation of a new research program to answer questions about humanity's future in the broadest astronomical context.
The authors explained that the point would be to see that Earth's current situation might, in some sense, be natural or at least a natural and generic consequence of certain evolutionary pathways.
The researchers also showed that how habitability studies of exoplanets hold important lessons for sustaining the civilization we have developed on Earth.
According to the results, studying past extinction events and using theoretical tools to model the future evolutionary trajectory of humankind and of still unknown but plausible alien civilizations could inform decisions that would lead to a sustainable future.
The study is published in the journal Anthropocene.