Human extinction - top five ways we're all going to die

Humankind is rapidly heading towards extinction, so how will the end likely come? (Getty)
Humankind is rapidly heading towards extinction, so how will the end likely come? (Getty)

Renowned biology professor Guy McPherson told Paul Henry on Thursday that humankind will be extinct within five or 10 years, and there's nothing we can do about it.

The infamous Doomsday Clock, set annually by the Science and Security Board is currently at three minutes to midnight - the same extreme level of apocalyptic threat it was at in 2015.

Newshub's Tony Wright counts down the top five ways we're all most likely to die. (All images Getty)

Still the greatest threat to human extinction, the Earth could easily be ripped apart 100 times over by an arsenal of 16,000 nuclear weapons within seconds of you reading this.

Human extinction - top five ways we're all going to die

So if you thought the spectre of nuclear conflict died with the Cold War in 1991, think again. Russia has recently increased its stockpiles of nuclear warheads, while the US has modernised its arsenal, improving its accuracy.

The UK, France, China, India and Pakistan also possess nuclear weapons, while it's suspected Israel and North Korea do as well.

It only takes one spark to get a fire going.

Extinction threat: 10/10

US President-elect Donald Trump doesn't believe it is real, and sadly plenty of other world leaders don't either.

More fool them because the Earth is heading, quite literally, for a meltdown thanks to its human inhabitants polluting the atmosphere.

Industrial plant emitting fumes and creating pollution

Temperatures have already reached record levels and are constantly increasing, while oceans in some parts of the world have risen to critical levels.

The polar ice caps are melting away to nothing, glaciers have disappeared, animals are going extinct - and we might be next.

Extinction threat: 9/10

A bubonic plague almost killed off humanity back in the Middle Ages, and the Spanish Flu ended the lives of between 50 to 100 million people in 1918 - including 22 percent of Samoa's entire population and 8500 Kiwis.

Recently we've faced SARS, new outbreaks of cholera, influenza, yellow fever, Ebola and swine flu.

<<enter caption here>> on January 27, 2015 in Disco Hill, Liberia.

Now genetically modified viruses including smallpox threaten our survival, especially if they're ever used in a bioterrorism attack.

And if humans keep chomping through the huge amounts of antibiotics that we do, our bodies won't be able to fight off the next great plague.

Extinction threat: 8/10

The current reigning champion of world destruction, an asteroid hit the Earth near the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs.

Scientists estimate several dozen asteroids between six and 12 metres across fly by the Earth closer than the Moon every year, but only a few are detected.

Human extinction - top five ways we're all going to die

In October 2017 a 10 to 20m-long asteroid called 2012TC4 is expected to come within 14,000 km of the Earth.

What if it changes course just a little bit? We'll probably be all dead then from nuclear annihilation anyway.

Extinction threat: 7/10

Dr Stephen Hawking believes technology, especially artificial intelligence, will eventually kill off humanity.

He's got a point: 'killer robots' like drones are already being used by some military forces, and driverless cars are almost hooning off the production lines.

Human extinction - top five ways we're all going to die

What if the killer robots went rogue or the driverless cars turned evil? What if the internet was suddenly taken over by something far more sinister than Facebook?

Satellites and planes could fall from the sky and the modern world would grind to a halt.

Reminder: you're reading this article on a device that is more powerful than the technology used by astronauts to get to the moon.

Extinction threat: 5/10