Start A Petition


Science & Tech  (tags: Earth, Future, Sun, path, destruction, Fate, Timeline )

- 1839 days ago -
What will happen to the Earth? We tend to worry about issues like climate change that can have an impact over periods of time comparable to an average human lifetime.

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Yasmeen E (1)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 9:44 pm

. (0)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 9:49 pm
The biological and geological future of the Earth can be extrapolated based upon the estimated effects of several long-term influences. These include the chemistry at the Earth's surface, the rate of cooling of the planet's interior, the gravitational interactions with other objects in the Solar System, and a steady increase in the Sun's luminosity. An uncertain factor in this extrapolation is the ongoing influence of technology introduced by humans, such as geoengineering, which could cause significant changes to the planet. The current biotic crisis is being caused by technology and the effects may last for up to five million years. In turn, technology may result in the extinction of humanity, leaving the planet to gradually return to a slow evolution pace only resulting from long-term natural processes.

Over time intervals of hundreds of millions of years, random celestial events pose a global risk to the biosphere, which can result in mass extinctions. These include impacts by comets or asteroids with diameters of 510 km (3.16.2 mi) or more, and the possibility of a massive stellar explosion, called a supernova, within a 100-light-year radius, called a Near-Earth supernova. Other large-scale geological events are more predictable. If the long-term effects of global warming are disregarded, Milankovitch theory predicts that the planet will continue to undergo glacial periods at least until the quaternary glaciation comes to an end. These periods are caused by eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit. As part of the ongoing supercontinent cycle, plate tectonics will probably result in a supercontinent in 250350 million years. Some time in the next 1.54.5 billion years, the axial tilt of the Earth may begin to undergo chaotic variations, with changes in the axial tilt of up to 90.

During the next four billion years, the luminosity of the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching the Earth. This will cause a higher rate of weathering of silicate minerals, which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In about 600 million years, the level of CO2 will fall below the level needed to sustain C3 carbon fixation photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 carbon fixation method, allowing them to persist at CO2 concentrations as low as 10 parts per million. However, the long-term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The resulting loss of oxygen replenishment will cause the extinction of animal life a few million years later.

In about 1.1 billion years, the solar luminosity will be 10% higher than at present. This will cause the atmosphere to become a "moist greenhouse", resulting in a runaway evaporation of the oceans. As a likely consequence, plate tectonics will come to an end. Following this event, the planet's magnetic dynamo may come to an end, causing the magnetosphere to decay and leading to an accelerated loss of volatiles from the outer atmosphere. Four billion years from now, the increase in the Earth's surface temperature will cause a runaway greenhouse effect. By that point, most if not all the life on the surface will be extinct. The most probable fate of the planet is absorption by the Sun in about 7.5 billion years, after the star has entered the red giant phase and expanded to cross the planet's current orbit.


The Earth's fate (Video on BBC website)

Over billions of years, the Sun will expand and engulf the inner Solar System, and the Earth will become far less habitable. Eventually it is predicted the Earth will be destroyed.


The Sun's path to destruction (Video on BBC website)

As the Sun ages, it will gradually become a red giant as its hydrogen fuel begins to run out. Its surface will expand to approximately 100 times its current size as its core shrinks, and the inner Solar System will be engulfed.


Anders Jonsson (0)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 12:18 am
A very interesting Article!
Thank You for sharing!

Freya H (357)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 2:32 pm
By then we - or rather, our distant descendants will have left, or figured out a way to preserve the planet. Long, long, long before then we will have figured out how to take better care of planets.

Tim C (2420)
Monday May 13, 2013, 12:07 pm

Jaime A (52)
Monday May 13, 2013, 2:24 pm

cecily w (0)
Monday May 13, 2013, 4:38 pm
Fascinating article. Thank you.

Dot A (182)
Monday May 13, 2013, 4:46 pm
so true
so true
as well as our microbiology will also change
all things are temporary
yet now
is always
this is where science and theology attempt comprehension
of what
and will be

it's best to let things go
do what we can as best we can
live for today
love for Eternity

and keep our minds and hearts open for 'goodness sake'

that includes the best of what science provides
and the highest emotions of the heart

perhaps all these molecules/atoms and energies (electromagnetic plus the stuff we are ignorant of still - including all that dark matter,...] are acting in unison [and what may come is far greater than what has ever been]

for certainly, as the universe evolves, our physical matter (bodies) will change, -> no matter what escape plan we may device * as far as planetary travel in the far far distant future

and all those stars will change as well as our very close 'sun'

live each day as a miracle
it is
and so are you!

Elizabeth Bollington (58)
Monday May 13, 2013, 4:49 pm
Let's hope for our children and grandchildren things don't change too much!

Dot A (182)
Monday May 13, 2013, 4:57 pm
I hear that, Elizabeth~ I hope that our intelligence as a people will keep up with all this change, and information of this new techological world, so that we develope adaptions and ways of managing this earth much better than we do today. I certainly do hope for that, for all the generations which follow,....

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Monday May 13, 2013, 8:55 pm
Fascinating article, very intriguing.

Suzanne L (99)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 10:13 am
Thanks Ray. The article says "tecnology may result in the extinction of humanity", but still the people who control things don't listen.

Dot A (182)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 11:07 am
As the Sun ages, the Earth will slowly die.
The Sun's path to destruction
Our Sun, like all stars, will die one day.


linda n (3877)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 11:41 am
great info ray

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 2:15 pm
Thanks so much for posting this interesting info, Ray.

Janis B (7)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 3:45 pm
We will most certainly destroy the earth ourselves. Don't need to worry about meteors or solar events. It is just a pity we will take everything else with us.

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 6:59 pm
Thank you.

Patricia R (13)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 7:25 am

. (0)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 5:14 pm
May I thank members for noting and commenting on the article, and I would agree the article is very interesting,

The Article 'Earth Future', came from a collection of Articles on the BBC Website call 'Earth Timeline',

Earth Timeline, is full of Articles from the Beginning of Time dating back to when 'The Earth formed from a vast cloud of gas and dust. up to the problems we face today and beyond

I have included the link to the rest of the Article's, and, I hope, you find the rest of the Articles as interesting as I did so, a few days ago,

Mankind face many challenges and we must face these challenges head on together as one unite, one or two Countries taking on Global Warming would have little effect if any on the problems we face,

we need all Countries around the Global coming together and face up to our responsibility and start to protect our planet and work with mother nature instead of working against her, we owe it to ourselves and future generations, if not, we will only destroy more of our planet, and at the end of it all, we will destroy ourselves,

Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Science & Tech

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.