The World Economic Forum Global Risks 2013 report released Tuesday presents a stunning wake up call to the entire world.
The report begins with an unnerving theory that sluggish and stalled economies worldwide are a direct distraction from long-term environmental horrors." Global risks do not respect national borders," says Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
"Two storms -- environmental and economic -- are on a collision course," says John Drzik, Chief Executive Officer of Oliver Wyman Group, one of several companies which collaborates with the Global Risks report. "If we don't allocate the resources needed to mitigate the rising risk from severe weather events, global prosperity for future generations could be threatened."
More than 1,000 experts and industry leaders took part in the survey. Researchers asked them to rate the biggest global threats in five categories: economic, environmental, societal, geopolitical, and technological. The following pages reveal the 10 Most Frightening Environmental Risks, based on the experts' responses.
US Army Corp of Engineers
Aerial view shows Kivalina, Alaska, a village experts say could disappear because of climate change.
RISK: Failure to Adapt to Climate Change
Experts say: Governments and business fail to enforce or enact effective measures to protect populations and transition businesses impacted by climate change.
RISK: Incurable Pollution
Experts say: Air, water or land permanently could be so contaminated that it threatens ecosystems, social stability, health outcomes and economic development.
RISK: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Experts say: Deadly bacteria is growing resistant to antibiotics.
Brazil's controversial Belo Monte Dam Project will displace thousands of people in the Amazon.
RISK: Land and Waterway Mismanagement
Experts say: Deforestation, waterway diversion, mineral extraction and other environment modifying projects are devastating ecosystems and associated industries.
Athens, Greece has had severe problems with urban sprawl.
RISK: Mismanaged Urbanization
Experts say: Poorly planned cities and ballooning city populations contribute to environmental dangers.
A man carries a boy out of a flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy in November 2012.
RISK: Persistent Extreme Weather
Experts say: As more people move to vulnerable areas, there's increased damage to lives and property.
Germany's Jaenschwalde Coal-Fired Power Plant, one of the biggest single producers of CO2 emissions in Europe.
RISK: Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Experts say: Governments, businesses and consumers fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand carbon sinks.
RISK: Species Exploitation
Experts say: Threat of irreversible biodiversity loss through extinction or ecosystem collapse.
The Copahue volcano spews ashes in Argentina in December 2012.
RISK: Unprecedented Geophysical Destruction
Experts say: Existing precautions and preparedness measures fail in the face of geophysical disasters of unparalleled magnitude such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides or tsunamis.
An artist's rendition of Earth's magnetosphere.