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29th Apr 2024

Supercomputer simulation predicts when humans will be wiped out

Charlie Herbert

Supercomputer simulation predicts when humans will be wiped out

Earth could be transformed into an uninhabitable supercontinent devoid of food or water

A new scientific study has predicted when humans and mammals will be wiped off the face of the Earth as a result of extreme global warming.

The research, published in Nature Geoscience, warns that temperatures of 70C will turn the planet into a “hostile environment devoid of food and water” in 250 million years time.

This will make Earth uninhabitable for all mammals – including humans – and cause all the continents to merge into one roasting land mass.

Researchers used the first ever supercomputer climate models to get the projections.

The results suggest the sun will become brighter, whilst volcanic eruptions caused by tectonic movements would release huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.

Only 8 per cent to 16 per cent of the supercontinent would end up being habitable.

Dr Alexander Farnsworth, from the University of Bristol, was the study’s lead author.

He said: “The newly emerged supercontinent would effectively create a triple whammy, comprising the continentality effect, hotter sun and more CO2 in the atmosphere, of increasing heat for much of the planet.

“The result is a mostly hostile environment devoid of food and water sources for mammals.

“Widespread temperatures of between 40C to 50C, and even greater daily extremes, compounded by high levels of humidity would ultimately seal our fate.

“Humans – along with many other species – would expire due to their inability to shed this heat through sweat, cooling their bodies.”

The study predicts CO2 levels will rise from around 400 parts per million (ppm) today to more than 600 ppm by the time the supercontinent – coined Pangea Ultima – is formed.

However, the researchers have warned that this is on the assumption that humans stop burning fossil fuels, adding that these levels could be reached “much, much sooner” otherwise.

Co-author Dr Eunice Lo, of the University of Bristol, said: “It is vitally important not to lose sight of our current climate crisis, which is a result of human emissions of greenhouse gases.

“While we are predicting an uninhabitable planet in 250 million years, today we are already experiencing extreme heat that is detrimental to human health.

“This is why it is crucial to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible.”

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