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Most alien civilisations risk fuelling global warming on their planets

New Scientist Default Image

Climate change might be a common problem for inhabited planets

NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesser

Most planets inhabited by advanced civilisations would be likely to face catastrophic climate change as a result of burning fuel, researchers have found.

Human activity has had a geological impact on Earth, putting it into a new epoch known as the Anthropocene. Adam Frank at the University of Rochester, New York, and his colleagues wanted to know if the same thing might happen on other Earth-like planets.

The researchers began with the assumption that “exocivilisations” would arise on planets with initial carbon dioxide levels …