On my way
We think a lot about the near future. Will AI start a nuclear war by 2040? Will we live on a greenhouse Earth by 2100? But what about the path, way the distant future – what will be the Earth, say, 200 million years?
First, geology, of course, will not be the same. According to the international team of researchers, our planet is at a distance of about 200-250 million years from the formation of a new supercontinent – a gigantic land mass consisting of seven continents that we currently know and love – and they believe that they have a pretty good idea how it will look.
The crust of the Earth consists of 12 tectonic plates that are in constant, very slow motion. These plates are combined, and then separated in a cycle that lasts about 400 to 600 million years. The last time the plates came together was about 310 million years ago, before the time of the dinosaurs, and at that moment they formed the supercontinent of Pangea.
To find out what the next supercontinent looks like, the researchers analyzed the history of planetary tectonics and tectonic activity at the present time. From this, they came up with four possible future supercontinental configurations, which they call Novopangea, Pangea Ultima, Aurica and Amazia.
Researchers believe that Novopanga is the most likely scenario, since it will be a consequence of the current conditions remaining – the three remaining scenarios will manifest only as a result of a significant change in the tectonics of the earth plate, for example, the influence of some anomaly in the inner world of the planet that has not yet developed.
Although, obviously, we will not be alive to see which of these scenarios — if any — is actually being implemented, the researchers did not undertake this project just for fun. As they point out in an article published in Conversation:
The study of the tectonic future of the Earth makes us push the boundaries of our knowledge and think about the processes that shape our planet for a long time. It also makes us think about the system of the Earth as a whole and raises a number of other questions – what will be the climate of the next supercontinent? How is ocean circulation regulated? How will life evolve and adapt? These are questions that push the boundaries of science further, because they push the boundaries of our imagination.
READ MORE: What Earth of the Planet can look like when the next Supercontinent Forms are Four Scenarios[[[[Conversation]