major terrestrial extinctions Their common denominator was the emergence of large supercontinents, as sudden geological changes and extreme temperatures provided no respite for dominant life.
For this reason, and through computer modeling and the use of climate predictors, a team of scientists from the University of Bristol determined that in another 250 million years supercontinent called Pangea Ultima will end the lives of all mammals, possibly including humanity.
The researchers made the forecast using a climate model that took into account changes in land surface temperatures of the new supercontinent; along with an increase in the intensity of solar radiation and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The study appears in the September 25 issue of the journal. Nature.
“The supercontinent apparently creates conditions that more easily lead to mass extinction,” the first author said. Alexander Farnsworth, climate scientist at the University of Bristol in the UK. “[La formación de supercontinentes] “This coincided with four of the last five mass extinctions in the geological past.”
This supercontinent Pangea Ultima formed very close to the equator.
This new continent will be hot: not only will most of its equatorial continental mass be deprived of the cooling effect caused by the oceans; But it will absorb more radiation from the older and more active Sun and will be flooded with significantly more carbon dioxide due to volcanic activity.
Since most of the Earth’s landmass is locked up; an aging sun emits 2.5% more radiation; and the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase by 1.5 times its current level: modeling showed that only 8% of the supercontinent’s land mass would be suitable for mammals.
“While there are some very specialized mammals today that may inhabit regions such as the Sahara, it remains to be seen whether these mammals will be preferentially selected for and their descendants will re-spread to Pangea Ultima and become dominant,” Farnsworth said. “Maybe reptiles are better adapted? Or something completely different?
Source: Digital Trends
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