The famous scientist Stephen Hawking has passed away today, Wednesday, March 14, at the age of 76. After a lifetime’s dedication to the study of the universe, Hawking also left us his contribution on climate change.
The death of Stephen Hawking has left a great void in the world of science today. The theoretical physicist, astrophysicist, cosmologist and scientific disseminator devoted his life to the study of the universe, revealing great secrets of it. Such is the case of his finding that space and time must have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in the black holes of which he also discovered that they emit radiation called the Hawking radiation.
Stephen Hawking and climate change
In addition to all this, Stephen Hawking was a vital scientific authority in the fight against climate change by persisting in his statements of the great dangers that our planet would have to face, such as those he warned: “Resources are running out at an alarming rate. We have given our planet the disastrous gift of climate change. ”
At the beginning of March, in the program Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places (in it, the physicist visits his favorite places in the cosmos in a simulated spacecraft) he declared that the planet Earth will have similar characteristics to those of Venus in about 200 years. Venus is the second planet in the solar system in order of distance from the Sun, it has temperatures of 460ºC on average, winds of 300 km / h and according to Hawking it is an example of uncontrolled heating.
Hawking went on to explain that Venus was habitable about two million years ago and that it could even harbor life and water on its surface. Unfortunately, the accumulation of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere made the oceans disappear, causing a radical change in temperatures and making it an uninhabitable environment.
After the comparison between both planets, hinting that they are “a kind of cousins”, Stephen Hawking warned that in 200 years the Earth could suffer a similar warming process to that happened on Venus if the greenhouse gases levels in the atmosphere reached extreme levels. He also added that humans must find a new home in space in the next 200 to 500 years if we are to survive.
Other statements the English scientist made about climate change were in the wake of Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. In an interview with BBC he said: “Climate change is one of the great dangers we face and it is one that we can prevent if we act now. By denying the evidence of climate change and withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, Donal Trump will cause preventable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering nature, us and our children.”
As a conclusion to his stance on climate change and as an evidence of his great conviction about the existence and the dangers thereof, in his program Hawkings stated: “Next time you meet a climate change denialist, tell them to take a trip to Venus. I’ll pay for the ticket. ”