Earth will become one big Supercontinent again

Geoscientists say Earth will be home to one massive supercontinent about 200 million years from now; there are four prominent versions of this mega-continent.

The climate might be surprisingly balmy in one of the most popular versions, but there is also the potential for an ice age.

In the off-chance that a post-human species survives, they might have to be in a state of equilibrium with the natural ecosystem.

Pangea (or Pangaea), the humongous landmass that joined together all seven continents into one massive continent during Earth’s prehistoric past, broke apart around 200 million years ago. In a fascinating twist of terrestrial evolution, it turns out that we’re about 200 million years away from the formation of a new, Pangea-like supercontinent, scientists say. 

There are four prevailing versions of how this supercontinent will evolve, according to a research article published in Geological Magazine in 2018.

In the first scenario, we assume the Atlantic Ocean keeps opening up, while the Pacific Ocean keeps closing. The Pacific Ocean, for its part, is full of subduction zones, or places where oceanic plates are sinking down into continental plates and then into Earth’s mantle. (This is also why 80 percent of big earthquakes occur around the edges of the Pacific Ocean, also known as the “Ring of Fire.”)

As a result of this tectonic activity, the Americas continue to separate from Europe and Africa, which means they eventually smash into northbound Antarctica, and eventually into Africa, Europe, and Asia, which will have already been crammed together. Meanwhile, Australia will have docked to East Asia. The result is one immense mega-continent called “Novopangea” (Greco-Latin for “New Pangea”).

In the “Pangea Proxima” (or “next Pangea”) scenario, the Atlantic, as well as the Indian Ocean, continues to expand until new subduction zones pull the continents back again, resulting in a collision between Eurasia and the rest of the continents. To visualize the end result, picture a somewhat ring-shaped landmass with a small ocean basin at its center.

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