An almost uninhabitable Earth, the frightening predictions of this supercomputer

An almost uninhabitable Earth, the frightening predictions of this supercomputer
An almost uninhabitable Earth, the frightening predictions of this supercomputer

According to climate models, the formation of a supercontinent, named Pangea Ultima, could occur in approximately 250 million years. This immense continental mass, resulting from the convergence of current continents, would generate an extreme climate characterized by high temperatures and pronounced drought.

A unified Earth… but inhospitable

Researchers predict that this supercontinent would be marked by temperatures hovering between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius, with daily extremes even higher. These conditions would be exacerbated by an increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, due to more frequent volcanic eruptions and an intensification of the energy emitted by a brighter sun.

Alexander Farnsworth, principal investigator of the study published in Nature, explains that this combination of factors would create a virtually unlivable environment for humans and other mammals. The ability of these species to regulate their body temperature through sweating would be compromised, making survival almost impossible in the face of extreme heat and humidity.

Although these predictions concern the very distant future, the authors of the study warn against complacency in the fight against current climate change. The already observable effects of global warming, such as extreme heat waves, have a direct impact on human health and biodiversity. Eunice Lo, co-author of the study, highlights the urgency of achieving net-zero emissions targets to prevent the consequences predicted for Pangea Ultima from becoming a reality on a much shorter time scale.

The need for immediate action is all the more pressing as the latest UN report reveals that, without a significant reduction in global warming, billions of individuals and many species will no longer be able to adapt. Benjamin Mills, co-author of the report, adds that even if fossil fuel exploitation were stopped today, CO2 levels could double from current levels, a prospect that could happen much sooner if effective measures are not taken. .

The study by researchers at the University of Bristol certainly concerns future events on a geological time scale. But it serves as a poignant reminder of the immediate challenges we face. The possibility of a future where our planet becomes hostile to life as we know it puts into perspective the critical importance of today’s efforts to moderate climate change. In any case, it reinforces the urgency of sustained and immediate climate action, essential to preserving living conditions on Earth.

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