Parent Topic: Existential risk

Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. Depending on their size, asteroids with the potential to collide with planet Earth could pose a global catastrophic risk or even an existential risk.


In The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, Toby Ord offers several policy and research recommendations for handling risks from asteroids and comets:[1]

  • Research the deflection of 1 km+ asteroids and comets, perhaps restricted to methods that couldn’t be weaponized such as those that don’t lead to accurate changes in trajectory.
  • Bring short-period comets into the same risk framework as near-Earth asteroids.
  • Improve our understanding of the risks from long-period comets.
  • Improve our modeling of impact winter scenarios, especially for 1–10 km asteroids. Work with experts in climate modeling and nuclear winter modeling to see what modern models say.

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