A Massive Solar Superstorm Nearly Blasted The Earth In 2012

Back on July 23, 2012 a furious solar magnetic storm just grazed our planet. Had it erupted just nine days earlier, it would have hit us, causing extensive damage to our technological infrastructure. It would have been a geomagnetic catastrophe the likes of which we've never seen. Scientists say the close shave should… » 3/20/14 8:00am 3/20/14 8:00am

20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know

We live in an era of accelerating change, when scientific and technological advancements are arriving rapidly. As a result, we are developing a new language to describe our civilization as it evolves. Here are 20 terms and concepts that you'll need to navigate our future. » 3/17/14 10:07am 3/17/14 10:07am

Which countries do Americans perceive as their greatest enemies?

Over the past few years, Americans have overwhelmingly pinpointed Iran as public enemy number one. But as a recent Gallup Poll illustrates, Americans are now focusing their attention on several new perceived threats — a sure sign of the world's complex and ever-changing geopolitical balance. » 2/21/14 6:00pm 2/21/14 6:00pm

This lost satellite could trigger a deadly Gravity-style debris field

Envisat is a dead 8,100 pound satellite that scientists now say is at high risk of triggering a catastrophic cloud of cascading space junk similar to the one portrayed in Gravity. » 2/20/14 4:00pm 2/20/14 4:00pm

Could a juiced-up particle accelerator destroy the Earth?

One of the world's largest particle colliders is about to undergo upgrades that will make it considerably more powerful than it is now. The ensuing experiments will once again take us into uncharted scientific waters, prompting critics to warn of a potential catastrophe — one powerful enough to destroy our entire… » 2/13/14 9:00am 2/13/14 9:00am

Senior U.S. spies warn of future security threats

A senior American spy chief has released his assessment of the most troubling threats facing the US — a list that includes terrorism, hackers, WMD proliferation, pandemics, extreme weather events — and the militarization of space. » 1/30/14 4:00pm 1/30/14 4:00pm

10 mindblowingly futuristic technologies that will appear by the 2030s

Two decades is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but owing to accelerating change we can expect to see the emergence of some fairly disruptive technological innovations in the coming years. Here are 10 mindblowingly futurist technologies that should appear by the 2030s. » 7/05/13 10:00am 7/05/13 10:00am

We are way off target if we hope to feed everyone by 2050

A comprehensive study suggests that food production is not on track to keep up with population growth. That means food prices are going to rise in coming decades. This trend could also reverse the progress we’ve made in world food security. » 6/19/13 2:14pm 6/19/13 2:14pm

The Geopolitical Powderkegs Most Likely to Start the Next Major War

Predicting future conflicts is not easy, especially considering that social unrest and dramatic political changes can happen at virtually any time. But world-altering events don’t unfold in a vacuum — it’s all about reading the signs. Here are seven geopolitical hotspots that have the potential to change the course of… » 4/24/13 11:00am 4/24/13 11:00am

How Much Longer Before Our First AI Catastrophe?

What will happen in the days after the birth of the first true artificial intelligence? If things continue apace, this could prove to be the most dangerous time in human history. It will be an era of weak and narrow artificial intelligence, a highly dangerous combination that could wreak tremendous havoc on human… » 4/01/13 9:30am 4/01/13 9:30am

Watch George Dvorsky and Nick Bostrom talking live about risks to the…

Put your doomsday caps on, everyone. Starting tonight at 9pm EST (6pm PST) to 10pm EST (7pm PST), I'll be on Huffington Post Live talking about existential risks to the future of humanity. I'll be joined by Nick Bostrom of the Future of Humanity Institute, James Hughes from the Institute for Ethics and Emerging… » 2/26/13 5:30pm 2/26/13 5:30pm

Earthquakes could kill upwards of 3.5 million people this century

This is the kind of statistic we would expect to see decrease over the coming years. But as the number of humans continues to climb, and as these populations increasingly concentrate themselves in tightly packed urban areas, earthquake fatalities could reach 3.5 million by the end of this century. This is the… » 2/25/13 1:20pm 2/25/13 1:20pm

Could nuclear disarmament actually increase our chance of an…

Most everyone agrees that humanity needs to get rid of its nuclear weapons. It's only through complete relinquishment that we can eliminate the threat of deliberate or accidental nuclear war and the ongoing problem of proliferation. But at the same time, a strong case can be made that these apocalyptic weapons have… » 12/18/12 11:30am 12/18/12 11:30am

Popular Mechanics makes 110 predictions for the next 110 years

To commemorate its 110th anniversary, Popular Mechanics has put together an epic list of 110 predictions for the next 110 years. And as editor-in-chief Jim Meigs admits, making predictions is not easy — so to that end, the PM editorial team consulted with over 20 different experts (including our own Annalee Newitz)… » 12/17/12 2:44pm 12/17/12 2:44pm