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Home > News > Scanning the risk horizon for emerging threats

April 7th, 2008

Scanning the risk horizon for emerging threats

Abstract:
The invasive potential of artificial life and so-called biomimetic robots are among 25 alarming threats to the ecosystem identified by UK environmental scientists and policymakers. As well as risks associated with insect like mini robots, the list includes threats linked to nanotechnology and biotechnology.

The list, which is the result of an exercise called horizon scanning, also points to hazards associated with climate change such as coastal flooding, increased fire risk, and the growing demand for biofuels and biomass.

Published online in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, the list came out of a two-day meeting held in Cambridge involving 35 representatives from government, environmental NGOs and academia.

"We hope that horizon scanning will help cut down the number of times that policy dealing with foreseeable issues needs to made in the absence of the appropriate research," the lead author, Professor Bill Sutherland of the University of Cambridge, said.

Source:
lloyds.com

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