Scientists warn of a "triple extinction" event that will eradicate all life on Earth

Scientists warn of a "triple extinction" event that will eradicate all life on Earth

A recent study has predicted one of the possible futures for our planet, and it is not good.

Experts have been trying to alert humanity about the impacts of global warming for decades. As temperatures continue to rise, concerns are growing in equal measure about global food supplies, rising sea levels and previously inhabited lands becoming too hot to survive in. A recent study published in the Nature Geoscience journal, led by the University of Bristol, has predicted our planet's likely future if we do not manage to reverse global warming. 

The study has found that Earth could transform into a hot, dry and largely uninhabitable supercontinent with Africa, Asia, America, Oceania and Europe all merging into one giant landmass. To arrive at this bleak outcome, the study used climate models from supercomputers that showed the distant future. They predicted more volcanic eruptions which would emit massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, further increasing temperatures. At the same time, the Sun may also become hotter and brighter, further warming the Earth and potentially raising average temperatures to between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius (104-122 Fahrenheit). 

Senior research associate at the University of Bristol and also the study's lead author, Alexander Farnsworth, explained that the newly-formed supercontinent would create a "triple whammy" effect involving continental effects, a hotter Sun, and more CO2 in the atmosphere, which would increase heat across much of the planet. This scenario would result in a hostile environment for mammals, lacking food and water sources, with widespread temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius, and even higher daily extremes caused by high humidity, ultimately sealing our fate. Humans, and many other species, would perish due to their inability to shed this excess heat through sweating, which is necessary to cool their bodies.

The study indicates that even if humanity ceased using fossil fuels, it would not prevent this extinction. Even if humans survive until this event, a total extinction would still occur. The only consolation is that this event is predicted to happen in 250 million years. Nonetheless, Eunice Lo, the co-author of the study stressed the importance of not losing sight of our current climate crisis. "While we are predicting an uninhabitable planet in 250 million years, we are already experiencing extreme heat today that is detrimental to human health. That's why it's crucial to achieve net-zero emissions as quickly as possible," she concluded.

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