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Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds on Earth, died peacefully at his home in Cambridge on Wednesday at the age of 76.

As well as being a renowned physicist whose groundbreaking theories helped us understand the complexities of space, time and the universe, the British professor also taught us about our home planet.

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In the event of World War III, the only way for humanity to survive is to colonize Mars or the moon, according to Elon Musk.

"I'm not predicting that we're about to enter the dark ages, but there's some probability that we will, particularly if there's a third world war," the SpaceX and Tesla founder said during a question and answer session at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin on Sunday ahead of President Donald Trump's possible nuclear talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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Stephen Hawking warns Earth could become as hot as Venus if we do not cut greenhouse gas emissions, a significant driver of climate change.

Venus is by far the hottest planet in the solar system with a searing average surface temperature of 864 degrees Fahrenheit.

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This was a year of tug-of-war for the environment. With Donald Trump becoming president of the U.S. at a time when wildfires, hurricanes, and floods were devastating the country, it was challenging for scientists, activists and concerned citizens to get their voices heard. But several stood out as global leaders on climate and helped give rise to those who were silenced. Below are 14 of the most notable influencers of 2017 and how they fought for a cleaner, safer environment for all.

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In a recent sit-down with WIRED UK, famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking sounded off on the ongoing anti-science movement.

"People distrust science because they don't understand how it works," Hawking said. "It seems as if we are now living in a time in which science and scientists are in danger of being held in low, and decreasing, esteem. This could have serious consequences. I am not sure why this should be as our society is increasingly governed by science and technology, yet fewer young people seem to want to take up science as a career."

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By Phineas Rueckert

Last year, scientist Stephen Hawking gave humans a shelf-life of 1,000 more years on Earth.

Apparently, 2017 hasn't been to his liking—as Hawking shaved another 400 years off that prediction.

The world-renowned scientist said Tuesday that he believes humans will only last another 600 years before Earth becomes a "sizzling ball of fire" that marks the end of humanity, The Sun reported.

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Stephen Hawking delivered another round of condemnation over President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

"We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible," the famed theoretical physicist said. "Trump's action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid," he told BBC News.

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Stephen Hawking repeated his warning that humanity needs to leave Earth and colonize the moon, Mars or other planets in order for our species to survive the impending doom of climate change.

"We have given our planet the disastrous gift of climate change ... When we we have reached similar crises there has usually been somewhere else to colonize ... But there is no new world, no utopia around the corner," he said. "We are running out of space, and the only places to go to are other worlds."

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A new group of industry heavyweights, including oil majors Total, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have voiced their support for a Republican-led carbon tax and dividend plan. Individual founding members include, Michael Bloomberg, Stephen Hawking and Steven Chu.

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Humans have 100 years to find a new planet, or else become extinct, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking says in an upcoming BBC series.

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Professor Stephen Hawking could one day realize his dream of space travel thanks to Virgin founder and space-enthusiast Richard Branson.

"I have already completed a zero gravity flight which allowed me to float weightless, but my ultimate ambition is to fly into space," Hawking told host Piers Morgan of "Good Morning Britain" on Monday. "I thought no one would take me but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic and I said yes immediately."

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