It’s no surprise that scientists and environmentalists are concerned about what the future holds for our planet. The world we know is changing before our eyes. The catastrophic effects of climate change and a rise in greenhouse gas emissions have left many fearing the implications this will have on the future of Earth.
The rate at which humans are destroying natural habitats is frightening, and it’s no wonder that so many apocalyptic visions of Earth’s future have been popularized recently.
However, some optimists believe we can avoid a dystopian future by focusing on solutions now. We will leave this article with a greater understanding of how Earth might look 250 million years ago. Let’s look at the optimistic and pessimistic outlooks on what the planet might be like in the future!
Optimistic View of Earth 250 Million Years From Now
Several optimistic scenarios would occur if humans could maintain a sustainable ecosystem. In the future, many ecosystems will be significantly diversified or even transformed due to climate change. Deserts are predicted to be the most affected areas of Earth in the future. It can be seen in desert biomes, where grasslands could develop due to climate change.
Another positive outcome might be that there will be a greater variety of species due to climate change. It can be argued because it is predicted that climate change will create a variety of niches in which species can thrive. If humans can get CO2 levels back down to 350 ppm, carbon-based ecosystems will remain.
Sea Levels Will Continue Rising
Sea levels have risen and fallen throughout Earth’s history, and this model predicts that they will continue to do so in the future. Sea levels are predicted to rise over the next 250 million years by an average of 50 meters. This rise will be caused by melting glaciers, and the thermal expansion of seawater as the planet warms up.
Sea levels have risen and fallen throughout Earth’s history, and it is expected that they will continue to do so over the next 250 million years. It is predicted that sea levels will be around 4000 meters lower during the Carboniferous period than they are now. If the average temperatures rise to 12 degrees, then sea levels are predicted to rise by an average of 50 meters. This rise will be caused by the thermal expansion of seawater as the planet warms up and melting glaciers.
Climate Change and CO2 Emissions Will Accelerate
Climate change has been accelerating over the past few hundred years, and if carbon emissions continue to rise rapidly, they will continue to accelerate. If we follow the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recommended climate change model, CO2 emissions will continue to rise until they peak at 2300.
After this, they will fall rapidly and reach around 350 ppm by 2500; the CO2 level recommended to avoid environmental catastrophe. If we get emissions back down to 350 ppm, the world will be able to avoid an extinction event, and humanity will live on.
Pessimistic View of Earth 250 Million Years From Now
If climate change continues to escalate and humans fail to take any meaningful action to combat it, our planet will become uninhabitable within the next 250 million years. An extinction event will occur, and we will lose most of life on Earth.
If we continue to emit high levels of CO2, then there’s a possibility that we will trigger an extinction event. It will occur because the high levels of CO2 will cause global warming, which will cause a change in ocean chemistry and a loss of marine life.
No More Humans Or Animals
The most extreme scenario would be a world without humans or animals, only plants and insects. If humans somehow manage to eradicate themselves from the face of the planet, then plants might be able to survive. Insects, however, are very likely to take over the world as they’re very adaptable creatures.
It’s also possible that Earth may become uninhabitable even without humans, as it is predicted that the sun will grow up to 10% hotter in the next 250 million years. If this happens, then Earth will be uninhabitable, and we will lose all life on it. It is likely that plants will survive because they are very adaptive; however, they will not be able to thrive if the planet is too hot.
A Vibrant Environment
The environment of Earth will thrive if humans manage to decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and create a more sustainable ecosystem. If we manage to do this, the environment will be vibrant, and it will be able to support a wide variety of species.
If humans can create a sustainable ecosystem, the environment will thrive and support various species.
Oceanic Changes in 250 Million Years
The oceans and the rest of Earth have undergone drastic changes over the past 250 million years. They will likely continue to change in the future too. If humans can combat climate change, then the oceans will be able to thrive.
If we do this, the oceans can support various species, just like today. If we can get CO2 levels back down to 350 ppm, the oceans will be able to thrive and support a wide variety of species.
The Future of Earth
We live in the Paleozoic era, and life on Earth is thriving. But what’s next for our planet? The experts say that parts of Earth may become uninhabitable, and entire species may go extinct. But life will keep evolving, and we will discover new wonders.
Most of this change is expected due to two main reasons: plate tectonics and global warming. The first is a natural process that sees Earth’s tectonic plates shift, collide, and break apart over billions of years. The second is a human-caused transformation that’s already happened significantly in the last few centuries and will keep changing in the coming years. So, let’s explore these changes in detail and see what the future of Earth will be like.
Giant Lava Rocks May Replace Continents
Over the next 250 million years, the experts say Earth’s tectonic plates will shift, causing the continents to break apart and form giant lava rocks. It is partly because the process has been going on for billions of years and partially because humans are accelerating it through mining and construction.
Now, it’s important to note that even though the continents will break apart and form these lava rocks, that doesn’t mean they’ll disappear from the planet entirely. Continents are constantly forming, breaking apart, and reforming again — it’s just that the process is expected to happen much more quickly in the next 250 million years.
Earth’s Temperature Will Rise to 150 Degrees
Another effect of the shifting plates is a rise in Earth’s temperature. It will cause Earth’s temperature to rise to 150 degrees, making most of the planet uninhabitable. Humans and other species will have to move to more excellent areas and likely become aquatic to survive. There are a few reasons scientists think this is likely to happen.
First, Earth has experienced similar temperature rises in the past. Second, Earth is expected to lose its carbon-capturing plants, increasing the temperature even more. And third, increasing CO2 emissions is expected to push things even further.
Sea Life Will Disappear, and New Ones Will Emerge
As the temperature rises and sea levels rise, many species of sea life will become extinct due to a lack of oxygen, extreme temperatures, and a lack of food and water. But, as is often the case with evolution, new species will emerge to take their place. One prominent example is that corals — which currently create most of the world’s reefs — are expected to struggle in this new environment.
Scientists say the Great Barrier Reef is expected to become “extinct” within 100 years, taking many other sea life corals with it. So, new species that can survive in this hotter, less-oxygenated environment are likely to emerge.
The ocean will also change dramatically as these temperature rises, and sea life extinctions happen. It’ll become less salty as water evaporates and contain less oxygen. Additionally, because the sea level will rise, oceans will cover a more significant portion of the planet so that less land will be available for life.
Experts predict a future where the ocean is a very different place. For example, there will be less coral and more algae because algae can survive in less oxygenated waters. And many of the underwater areas now will be above water — such as the Bering Strait and the Gulf of Mexico.
Life on Earth Will be Diverse and Strange
As life continues to mutate and change, there may come a day when humans aren’t the only species on Earth. But this doesn’t mean we’ll be replaced by better, more advanced creatures — experts say the changes that come with global warming and tectonic plates shifting will likely change our species too.
Many ways could happen. For example, humans may have to evolve to live underwater. Or we may have to find new ways to feed ourselves, like eating algae. Perhaps we’ll have new tools to control the climate or have figured out a way to live on Mars. Whatever changes happen, life will be very different from what we see today.
The End of Life on Earth
Although these changes will shape Earth for millennia, they won’t last forever. After an estimated 250 million years from now. That’s when the sun is expected to expand into a red giant, which will cause temperatures on Earth to rise and destroy all life. At that point, Earth will become like Venus — a planet with a thick atmosphere and extreme temperatures.
But there is a slim chance that Earth may survive this process. While many scientists say there’s no way our planet will escape the sun’s red giant phase, a few have theorized that Earth might be able to break away from the sun’s pull.
So, what happens if an asteroid collides with Earth before then? Well, there’s a chance that could happen at any time, but in particular, scientists say it’s likely to happen around 2200. Asteroids are small rocky bodies that orbit the sun. Some of these are fragments of comets, but most are pieces of various planets, moons, and other objects that have broken off over billions of years.
There are many unknowns regarding asteroids, but scientists are trying to learn more about them. For example, we don’t know how many asteroids are out there, but we’re hoping to find more.