It's Official, The Human Race Has Peaked
We all like to imagine that 2018 will see us develop into healthier, smarter, hotter versions of ourselves, who love the gym and eating kale - but science says it is looking unlikely.
It’s not because you can’t commit to your New Year’s resolutions, but because the human race has reached its maximum limits for height, lifespan and physical performance.
And we’ve only got ourselves to blame, as the emerging data trends suggest it is climate change (and our general negative impact on the environment) that is causing this problem.
Humans have long seen a pattern of taller, healthier children with longer life expectancies than their parents (sorry mum and dad), but it seems we might have finally reached a plateau.
This is after researchers looked at 120 years worth of historical information - the first ever study to do this - which seemed to suggest we have reached a threshold we won’t be surpassing any time soon.
Professor Jean-Francois Toussaint, said: “These traits no longer increase, despite further continuous nutritional, medical, and scientific progress.
“This suggests that modern societies have allowed our species to reach its limits. We are the first generation to become aware of this”
Rather than a continued improvement, instead we will see a shift in the proportion of the population that can reach these recorded maximum limits (i.e. more people living longer, but not for any more years than is currently possible).
In some African countries, human height is already decreasing over the past decade, and the team suggest more societies will be susceptible to this trend because they are no longer able to provide sufficient nutrition.
Other real world examples of this, will be seen in sporting records where fewer and fewer records will be broken (Usain Bolt might keep those gold medals a little longer).
And it seems that the reason for this slow down is because of our environmental impact on the planet: “Added pressure from anthropogenic activities will be responsible for damaging effects on human health and the environment,” said Toussaint.
He added: “The current declines in human capacities we can see today are a sign that environmental changes, including climate, are already contributing to the increasing constraints we now have to consider.”
For obvious reasons, the researchers hope this discovery will force policymakers to focus even more on trying to reverse the effects of climate change.
Although that might seem a little optimistic given nothing has motivated many (including the President of the United States) to take it seriously yet.
“To avoid us being the cause of our own decline, the utmost challenge is now to maintain these indices at high levels,” said Toussaint.
Happy New Year everyone!