Continents are constantly moving. Experts assume that the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are moving away from each other. They once formed a huge land mass, called the supercontinent Pangea, which broke away about 175 million years ago and over millions of years formed the present continents. Because of this constant movement, scientists predict that in a few hundred million years, the continents will collide again on the other side of the Earth. Meanwhile, the Australian continent is moving north.
The future supercontinent that could arise in the Pacific Ocean today will unite all the continents and be surrounded by a new ocean far beyond the Pacific Ocean. According to calculations by scientists from the University of Lisbon in collaboration with colleagues from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, this could happen in about 200 to 250 million years.
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Mountains like the Himalayas will be more common on the supercontinent.
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However, this is just one of many theories about how the Earth’s surface may have changed. An alternative theory relates to the formation of the supercontinent Amasya. The North American tectonic plate moves west until it meets the Asian plate and Australia. However, this is supposed to happen in the Arctic, which will lead to an ice age of 100 million years. In this scenario, there would eventually be only Antarctica and Amasya as the continents.
When land masses meet, mountains are formed. In this case, since several continents collide, there are more mountain ranges. As rocks in these mountains weather, extra carbon dioxide can be absorbed from the atmosphere and stored in the rocks. This would also lead to a cooling of the climate, but would have serious implications for biodiversity.
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Theoretically, Antarctica would be part of the supercontinent Eureka.
FGC, DPA, Robert Bauer
However, the future of the giant continent called Eureka did not look promising either. And since the continents will meet at the equator, this will cause the Earth’s temperature to rise by 2 to 3 degrees. Since Antarctica would also merge with the supercontinent, there would be no more poles, and therefore no ice caps that could reflect the sun’s rays (albedo) to uniform temperatures.
The collision of tectonic plates can also trigger volcanic activity, which releases large amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) into the atmosphere. This increase in greenhouse gases can lead to global warming. However, it must be emphasized that these processes take millions of years and it is impossible to accurately predict how the climate will evolve over this time period.
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