Our Earth is known to have an expiration date – in several billion years – but for mammals, it may end much faster. More specifically, in 250 million years, when a new “supercontinent” forms on Earth, which could make life impossible for mammals and humans.
look. Would the arrival of the “supercontinent” be a good thing? Science expert Martijn Peters explains.
This is what can be read in a new study from the University of Bristol published this week in the scientific journal.Natural earth sciences‘. It is based on the first climate models of the far future created by the supercomputer.
The study predicts that the climate will become increasingly extreme if all continents merge into one “supercontinent” within 250 million years: “Pangaea Ultima.” This is the result of continental drift: the phenomenon in which the continents move at a speed of a few centimeters per year.
The new supercontinent would be too hot, dry, and uninhabitable for mammals and humans. The researchers simulated the temperature, wind, precipitation and humidity of the supercontinent, and also calculated the carbon dioxide content. They discovered that the Earth would continue to warm due to more frequent volcanic eruptions (which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thus create global warming), and the large continent itself (temperatures away from the ocean are more extreme), but also because of the sun’s radiance (which will emit more of energy).
“Temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees Celsius and daily extremes that could rise even higher, combined with high humidity, will determine our fate,” lead researcher Alexander Farnsworth said in a statement. “Humans – like many other species – will die because they are unable to dissipate heat through sweating, allowing their bodies to cool down.”
The heat will dry up water and food sources, and barely 8 to 16 percent of the Earth will be habitable for mammals.
The researchers stress the importance of addressing climate change today, because this is what their calculations assume. If we didn’t do that, everything could go “much faster.” They also confirm that heat does indeed have a significant impact on human health.
Mammals dominated our planet 55 million years ago. The last “mass extinction” dates back to 66 million years ago, when an asteroid struck Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, among other things.
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