Scientists have revealed the date when Earth will face a mass extinction in which all humans will be wiped out


  • Study shows we would go extinct even if we stopped burning fossil fuels now
  • ‘Supercontinent’ Pangea Ultima expected to form in next 250 million years



A new study finds that humans on Earth will become extinct in 250 million years – but only if we stop burning fossil fuels now.

Computer simulations show that our planet will suffer a mass extinction that will wipe out all mammals, experts at the University of Bristol report.

They say that any lifeform alive on Earth by this time would have to face temperatures between 104°F to 158°F (40°C to 70°C).

But their calculations don’t account for greenhouse gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels and other human-generated sources – so our demise date will likely be even earlier.

It would be the first mass extinction since the extinction of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago, when Earth was catastrophically hit by a giant space rock.

Extreme heat likely to wipe out humans and mammals in the far future even without the impact of CO2-emitting fossil fuels (artist’s impression)

Supercontinents and how they form

The Earth’s tectonic plates move around the planet at a speed of a few centimeters per year.

From time to time they come together and merge into a supercontinent, which lasts for a few hundred million years before breaking apart.

The plates then break apart or move away from each other, until they eventually – after another 400–600 million years – come back together again.

The new study was led by Dr Alexander Farnsworth, senior research fellow at the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol.

‘The outlook for the distant future appears very bleak,’ said Dr Farnsworth.

‘Carbon dioxide levels could double the current level.

‘Humans – along with many other species – will perish due to their inability to cool their bodies by shedding this heat through sweat.’

According to researchers, in 250 million years’ time, all of Earth’s continents will merge together to form a supercontinent known as Pangea Ultima.

The Earth’s landmass will be shaped like a donut with an inland sea in the middle – what is left of the once-mighty Atlantic Ocean.

The surrounding Pacific Ocean, meanwhile, will cover most of the Earth’s surface.

Pangea Ultima is a possible projection of what Earth’s supercontinent would look like when plate tectonics came together.

Whatever the exact alignment, scientists are sure that Earth’s continents will gradually merge into one hot, dry and largely uninhabited mass.

Image shows the geography of Earth today (left) and the expected geography of Earth in 250 million years, when all continents will converge into one continent (Pangaea Ultima)
Image shows the average temperature (°C) of the hottest month for Earth and the predicted supercontinent (Pangaea Ultima) in 250 million years, when it would be difficult for almost any mammal to survive

Read more: 5 times when humans almost became extinct

Eruption of a Super Volcano 70,000 Years Ago Made Us Almost Like Dinosaurs

Tectonic processes in the Earth’s crust that brought continents together will lead to more frequent volcanic eruptions, releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, further warming the planet.

This also includes another, less well-known form of global warming – the natural brightness of the Sun, which is making the planet continually hotter and hotter.

‘The new emerging supercontinent would effectively create a triple whammy, with continental impacts, a hotter sun and more CO2 in the atmosphere, causing warming across much of the planet,’ Dr Farnsworth said.

‘The result is a mostly inhospitable environment for mammals, devoid of food and water sources.

‘Widespread temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius, and even higher daily extremes, compounded by high levels of humidity will ultimately seal our fate.’

For the study, scientists used computerized climate models to simulate temperature, wind, rainfall and humidity trends for Pangea Ultima.

The team used tectonic plate movement, ocean chemistry, and other models to map the inputs and outputs of CO2 to predict future levels of CO2.

The researchers emphasized that they did not take into account the contribution of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels, which is generally considered the largest cause of climate change today.

Pictured, the average monthly surface air temperature for Earth 250 million years in the future, if all the continents come together to form Pangea Ultima
The new calculations do not account for greenhouse gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels and other human-generated sources – putting our extinction date potentially even earlier (file photo)

They estimated that CO2 could rise from about 400 parts per million (ppm) today to more than 600 ppm several millions of years in the future.

‘Of course, this means humans will stop burning fossil fuels, otherwise we would have seen those numbers long ago,’ said co-author Professor Benjamin Mills at the University of Leeds.

The findings indicate that only 8 percent to 16 percent of the land will be habitable for mammals, but it is likely that all mammal species will be exterminated.

To make matters worse, the supercontinent will be located primarily in hot, humid tropical regions, so much of the planet may have to endure warmer temperatures than many mammal species.

‘We cannot predict how long humans will exist, but should we assume we will survive that long, such a future world would be inaccessible to us,’ Dr Farnsworth told MailOnline.

The academic said we might be able to survive if we built ‘environmentally-controlled shelters with air conditioning’.

‘But we will probably also have to build other facilities for food production,’ he said.

Another hope for humanity is the creation of civilizations on other planets in other solar systems, but this is currently only science fiction.

,[Survival] It will all depend on whether we can survive this planet, and if not, whether we have the ability to use geoengineering solutions for climate management,’ Dr Farnsworth said.

The study has been published today in Nature Geoscience.

Climate change is actually our fault: Over 99.9% of studies agree that global warming is primarily caused by humans

Global warming is our fault, according to a new study that analyzed thousands of climate change papers, finding that more than 99.9 percent of them agreed.

A total of 88,125 studies published from 2012 to 2020 were reviewed by experts at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, to see how many of them linked human activity to a changing climate and seek consensus on the topic.

This builds on the work of a 2013 paper that analyzed all climate science papers published between 1991 and 2012, which found 97 percent consensus.

‘We are almost certain that the consensus is now greater than 99 percent,’ said author Mark Lynas, who said it is ‘case closed’ for the discussion on human-caused climate change.

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