Terrifying simulation shows what Earth will look like in 250 million years' time
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Bettmann / Contributor/Sophia Groves / Stringer
Scientists have given a somewhat bleak view into the Earth’s distant future - predicting how our planet will look in 250 million years’ time.
The results of the study were published in a paper in Nature Geoscience that suggests that a couple of hundred million years into the future Earth won’t have its well-known continents and will instead just have one mega-continent called Pangea Ultima.
And what will it be like on Pangea Ultima? Well, not great. The continent will be subject to extreme weather with temperatures topping 140F (60C).
And the mashing together of the older continents to become the new super continent will lead to more volcanic activity - alongside this, the sun will be getting hotter. So, yeah - it will be pretty damn warm.
Dr Alexander Farnsworth of Bristol University, who led the research, told The Times that, as you can probably guess, this isn’t great news for the planet’s inhabitants.
He says that the drastic changes listed above will take place over a relatively short space of time, meaning that it will happen faster than evolution can keep up.
Dr Farnsworth said: “Mammals have, in the past, only been able to increase their [temperature] limit by 0.6C per million years. That makes it very difficult evolutionarily, once you get extreme temperatures going above these physiological limits.
“This will be a very inhospitable world where the weather, as well as the climate, is not your friend.”
Speaking to the Guardian, he added: “The Earth has a very changeable environment.
"Humans are very lucky with what we have now and we should not be pushing our own climate beyond the cooler climate that we evolved through. We are the dominant species, but Earth and its climate decide how long that lasts.
“What comes after is anyone’s guess. The dominant species could be something completely new.”
The study’s authors said the predictions do have a level of uncertainty, given how far ahead they are looking - but are hopeful that the results will give an insight into past mass extinction events.
The doctor also had a warning for those of us living on Earth right now.
“The rate of change at the present day is incredibly dangerous, we have never seen such a rate of change in the geological past,” Dr Farnsworth warned.
“We are creating our own problems that can accelerate our own extinction.”