A vision of the distant future of Earth A vision of the distant future of Earth

A vision of the distant future of Earth

A vision of the distant future of Earth

A number of scientists presented a vision of the distant future of Earth, revealing “horrific” changes that the planet will witness millions of years from now.

It is known that about 200 million years ago, an unusual supercontinent called Pangea dominated the Earth. Eventually, the landmasses were torn apart and disintegrated, creating the world we see today.

However, the continents never stopped drifting. In about 250 million years, computer simulations suggest that supercontinents may once again prevail.

"It may end up looking very similar to what Pangea looked like when it was Dinosaurs roaming around.

While it is certain that the continents have migrated and are still migrating, due to the abundance of evidence from rocks and fossils, it is still uncertain how this massive geological change will occur in the world in the distant future.

However, visualizations made possible by modern computing have given scientists a better view of our planet's geological future.

Davis emphasized that as we learn more about the behavior of Earth's tectonic plates, and how our planet evolved in the past, these models will become more accurate.

Damian Nance, distinguished professor of geology from Ohio University, added: "I have no doubt that we will see another supercontinent. I have a lot of questions about when that might happen and what that might look like."

There are currently about four main candidates for the next distant supercontinent. The animation, created using software that constructs and visualizes geological activity on Earth, shows a supercontinent, dubbed Eureka, forming near the Earth's equator. The Pacific Ocean closes, and eventually the Atlantic Ocean closes as well.

In another supercontinent scenario called “Amasia,” the current continents drift northward, with the exception of Antarctica, and cluster around the North Pole.

Under a different geological system called Novopangia, the continents continue to move much as they do today, the Atlantic Ocean continues to expand, but the vast Pacific Ocean closes off.

The fourth scenario involves the formation of a supercontinent called the tropical Pangea Ultima, where continents form around the Atlantic Ocean, which stops diverging.

Last year, a group of scientists used a supercomputer to model the climate of a supercontinent like Pangea Ultima, and found that it would host inhospitable surface environments (due to high volcanic activity, heat in the tropics, and lack of marine cooling in the warm interior). Without evolution, many species would likely not be able to survive on much of the scorching surface.

Scientists have indicated that the next supercontinent, whether it is "Eureka", "Amasia", "Novopangea", or "Pangaea Ultima", may not be the last on Earth. The continents will slide over the Earth's hot mantle, a thick region of semi-solid rock, which convects and moves the continents upward.

Geologists do not expect this process to stop for a very long time. In fact, the continents are likely in a slow-moving supercontinent cycle, in which huge land masses repeatedly converge, then break apart, then converge again.

“We may end up with six or seven supercontinent cycles throughout Earth's history,” Davies explained, noting that the planet may have already had four or five supercontinents.

6 Comments

  1. A very detailed description of the future of our Earth

    ReplyDelete
  2. is known that about 200 million years ago, an unusual supercontinent called Pangea dominated the Earth. Eventually, the landmasses were torn apart and disintegrated, creating the world we see today.

    ReplyDelete
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