July 19, 2024

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Earth’s future is an uninhabitable hell world

Earth’s future is an uninhabitable hell world

Planet Earth has been around for give or take 4.5 billion years, and it has changed a lot during that time. What started out as a ball of molten, churning magma, eventually subsided and a few small tectonic plates formed; After a few billion years or so, the planet was decorated with various formations of supercontinents and crawling with life.

But the Earth is still young, cosmically speaking. We’re barely more than a third of the way through its potential lifespan, and there are plenty of changes left to come.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that we will survive them. According to a study published last year, which used supercomputers to model the climate over the next 250 million years, the world of the future will once again be dominated by a single supercontinent — and will be almost uninhabitable for any mammal.

“The outlook for the distant future looks very bleak,” said Alexander Farnsworth, senior research associate at the Cabot Institute for the Environment at the University of Bristol and lead author of the study. statement.

“Carbon dioxide levels could be double current levels,” he explained. “With the Sun expected to also emit about 2.5% additional radiation and the supercontinent primarily located in hot, humid tropical regions, much of the planet could experience temperatures of 40 to 70 degrees Celsius.” [104 to 158 °F]”.

Farnsworth said the new supercontinent — known as Pangea Ultima, a reference to the ancient supercontinent Pangea — would create a “triple whammy”: The world would not only be dealing with an increase in carbon dioxide of about 50 percent.2 in the atmosphere above current levels; Not only will the Sun be hotter than it is currently, but that too It happens to all stars as they get older, due to the push-and-pull development between gravity and the fusion taking place within the core – but the size of the supercontinent itself would make it almost completely uninhabitable. that’s why Continent influence – The fact that coastal areas are cooler and wetter than inland areas, and the reason that summer and winter temperatures are more extreme in, say, Lawrence, Kansas, than in Baltimore.

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“The result is a mostly hostile environment devoid of food and water sources for mammals,” Farnsworth said. “Widespread temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees Celsius, and even extreme daily temperatures, combined with high humidity levels, would ultimately determine our fate. Humans – along with many other species – will die from Their inability to get rid of this heat through sweat, cooling their bodies.

And here’s the important point: This is the best-case scenario. “We believe that CO2 “The density could rise from about 400 parts per million (ppm) today to more than 600 ppm millions of years in the future,” explained Benjamin Mills, professor of Earth system evolution at the University of Leeds, who led the study’s calculations. “Of course, this assumes that humans will stop burning fossil fuels, otherwise we would see these numbers much sooner.”

So, while the study paints a foreboding picture of Earth millions of years from now, the authors caution us not to forget the problems that are looming on the horizon. “It is extremely important that we do not lose sight of the current climate crisis we face, which is a result of human emissions of greenhouse gases,” warned Eunice Lu, a research fellow in climate change and health at the University of Bristol and co-author of the study. paper.

She noted, “We are already suffering from extreme heat that is harmful to human health.” “That is why it is so important to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible.”

The study is published in the journal Natural Earth Sciences.

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