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Predicting the future is complicated, and only time can give or take away the reason for some or other forecasts. In this case, time is not an option. Not, at least, for us, nor for the children of our children’s children. A whopping 250 million years goes a long way, and almost appears to us as a future so far away that it is hard to even imagine that such a moment could come.

But science knows no limits, and neither does the human imagination. And figuring out what the Earth will be like in 250 million years is interesting, given that this time it is also an approach from a prestigious world-renowned expert.

Specifically, these are projections by Chris Scotese, a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University, in the United States, with which he shows in a surprising graphic way how the Earth will look in 250 million years. Keep reading this AgroCorrn article to discover all the details.

Tectonics and climate change, key factors

The result of the study carried out by Chris Scotese, supposes the union of the tectonic plates until forming a kind of Pangea. That is, according to Scotese, the next few thousand or, better, millions of years, the changes that have taken place in terms of plate tectonics will unite the entire surface of the earth again, as Pangea was 240 million years ago.

A single supercontinent , therefore, will be the result of the evolution expected by this expert, for whose calculations he has taken into account not only the theory of plate tectonics, but also the influence of climate change.

Let us remember very briefly that the theory of plate tectonics (the outer part of the Earth), studies how they slide on the mantle. Slowly, imperceptibly to us, obviously, but importantly in geologic time.

In this way, the surface of the Earth changes well by merging the continents or causing them to separate, as can be seen in the simulation video. It does so as a consequence of these movable plates on which the continents rest.

Their movement at different speeds (they can move 30 millimeters each year or at a higher rate) causes the continents to move, a reality that science has known for centuries. Forecasts, however, are still an area on which there is much to advance. Therefore, this research is one of the spearheads of this scientific area.

Studies that Scotese has conducted over many years have, in effect, helped figure out how plate tectonics and global warming can change the appearance of the Earth . Some conclusions that are reflected in different animated maps that he has published based on the progress that his research is achieving.

Scotese also bases these simulations on plate tectonic movements that have occurred in the past. In fact, on his website (www.scotese.com) we will find endless maps of his made throughout his research, on which he bases this latest simulation.

The Pangea Proxima

The most recent of his simulations (corresponds to the video that we can see at the end of the post) concludes that the future of the Earth is to turn its continents into one. A phenomenon similar to that of ancient Pangea . In the words of its author:

This animation shows my best guess as to how the plates will evolve in the near and distant future (…). In 1982, as a graduate student, I produced a set of future maps for an article in Discover Magazine (November 1982). This was the first appearance of the future Pangea – originally called “Pangea Ultima”. I have subsequently changed the name of this future supercontinent to Pangea Proxima, reflecting the fact that plate tectonics will continue for several billion years and that future pangeas are highly probable.

Scotese explains that the key tectonic event that results in the formation of this NeoPangea is “the beginning of the dipping subduction westward along the Atlantic coasts of North and South America.”

This new subduction zone (the process by which one plate is introduced under the other) ends up “causing the Atlantic Ocean to close,” he says. Other major tectonic events referred to are “the beginning of subduction in the central Indian Ocean, the closure of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, as well as the collision of Australia with SE Asia and China.”

Scotese’s conclusions lead us to a kind of starting point that could well be the product of a kind of time machine journey. But this is not the case, in reality, since the circumstances are different, and the climate change that is beginning to reap its head in so many millions of years, will surely have turned into something different.

What will the future of the Earth look like exactly

If we look back, we see that the mists of time was not a promising place for humans. 700 million years ago, for example, the human being did not exist, and the environment was frozen. Fast forward to 300 million years ago, the continents were united into one, known as Pangea, and 65 million years ago, as is well known, a huge meteorite caused a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, among other species.

There were other meteorites before and after, climatic changes and geological evolutions that have ended up shaping the world as we know it now. The future uncertain, even in the light of science. And, with so much time involved, the most powerful spotlight can very easily become the dim light of a lamp.

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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