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Global Catastrophic Risks

Nick Bostrom, Milan M. Cirkovic, and Martin J. Rees


A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again. In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including asteroid impacts, gamma-ray bursts, Earth-based natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, ... More

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780198570509
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198570509.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nick Bostrom, editor

Milan M. Cirkovic, editor

Martin J. Rees, author

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1 Introduction

Nick Bostrom and Milan M. ćirković

Part I Background

Part II Risks from nature

Part III Risks from unintended consequences

13 Climate change and global risk

David Frame and Myles R. Allen

Part IV Risks from hostile acts

19 Catastrophic nuclear terrorism: a preventable peril

Gary Ackerman and William C. Potter

20 Biotechnology and biosecurity

Ali Nouri and Christopher F. Chyba

21 Nanotechnology as global catastrophic risk

Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder