Future of Humanity: Human beings, who have evolved over the years, have come to dominate Earth unlike any species that came before. But how long is it before we go extinct?
Bleak Findings: Humans and Mammals Facing Extinction
A recent study conducted by the University of Bristol paints a grim picture of the future, suggesting that both humans and other mammals may face extinction within the next 250 million years.
Simulating the Future
Led by Alexander Farnsworth, a paleoclimate scientist at the University of Bristol, researchers created a virtual simulation of our planet’s future. Using data on continental movements and climate change effects, they arrived at a troubling conclusion: Earth will become too hot for any mammal, including humans, to survive on land.
The Scorching Reality
The study predicts that for any life form to endure, it will need to withstand temperatures ranging from 40 to 70 degrees Celsius. Dr. Farnsworth warns that this outlook appears bleak, as carbon dioxide levels could double, rendering humans and many other species unable to cool their bodies through sweat, ultimately leading to their demise.
What makes this news even grimmer is that the study does not account for the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Consequently, the timeline for human extinction could be even shorter than indicated in the study.
The Emergence of Pangea Ultima
Another startling revelation from the study is the Earth’s gradual transformation into a supercontinent known as Pangea Ultima, expected to occur in the next 250 million years. However, a mere 8 to 16 percent of this future continent will be habitable.
A Harsh New World
Under Pangea Ultima, Earth’s landmass will form a doughnut shape surrounding an inland sea, with the Pacific Ocean dominating the planet’s surface. This era will bring dramatic temperature increases, heightened humidity along the coasts, and extremely arid conditions in vast inland deserts. Global temperatures will rise by at least 15 degrees Celsius, mirroring the extreme heat of the Permian-Triassic era when 90 percent of species perished.
Survival in Extreme Conditions
The study suggests that only highly specialized migratory mammals might have a chance to survive in these environments. However, even these species may find it challenging to cope with continental conditions, such as extensive deserts. Burrowing species, while able to avoid surface heat, will see only marginal improvements in survivability.
The Role of Climate Change
Rising global temperatures, primarily caused by greenhouse gas emissions, have been linked to this grim forecast. The United Nations’ climate panel has stressed the urgent need to cut global emissions by nearly half by 2030 to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Climate Crisis and Human Survival
Climate scientists emphasize the importance of considering worst-case scenarios related to climate change. They warn that if temperatures rise beyond predictions or trigger unpredictable natural events, humanity may face catastrophic consequences, potentially leading to the extinction of all human life on Earth.
Urgent Action Required
Dr. Luke Kemp, from the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, underscores the role of climate change in mass extinction events throughout history. He urges governments to take immediate and substantial action to combat the climate emergency, as current plans may prove insufficient to prevent the worst outcomes.
While the timeline for human extinction is projected to be millions of years in the future, the study serves as a stark reminder of the critical need to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ensure a sustainable and habitable future for humanity.