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The earth is changing. What will the new supercontinent be like?

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

After 200 million years, the continental masses may merge together at the equator or at the poles – which will lead to a completely different climate.

In the distant past, supercontinents appeared and disappeared on Earth. Today, scientists believe that they are formed in accordance with certain cycles and predict when and where a new supercontinent may form.

Aurica or Amasia

175-200 million years ago, the Pangea supercontinent began to split, uniting all land on planet Earth. It was not the first and will not be the last: during a very long cycle, the lithospheric plates move away from each other in order to unite again later, scientists say.

The Atlantic “chasm” between North America and Europe is widening, Australia is moving northeast, and Africa is splitting in two along the East African Rift.

After 200 million years, the continental masses may again merge together at the equator or at the poles. This will cause a completely different climate, says geologist Ronald Blakey of Northern Arizona University.

According to one scenario, in about 250 million years, all large continental masses will unite at the equator and form a supercontinent called Aurica.

Physicist Michael Way of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies says that the interior of Aurica will have a super-continental climate, that is, the planet will have hot and dry weather, only the coastal areas will look like “Brazilian beaches.”

“This powerful continental mass will absorb a large amount of sunlight, at the same time there will be little or no ice at the poles that could reflect light,” quoted the scientist.

The climate models cited by Way show that temperatures on Aurica will average three degrees above today’s temperatures.

Another scenario assumes the concentration of almost all land at the North Pole in 200 million years. Scientists call it Amasia. Only Antarctica will remain at the South Pole.

In the Amasia scenario, there will be no continental masses between the poles to direct warm ocean currents from the equator to the north or south. As a result, the polar regions will be noticeably colder than today, and there will be extensive ice caps.

This amount of ice will reflect much more sunlight, increasing the cooling of the Earth. There will remain very little sushi suitable for growing food, if, of course, by that time there is still such a need.

Way notes that when choosing an exoplanet suitable for settling, it is necessary to take into account not only the presence of water in liquid form but also the location of the continents. The example of Amasia and Aurica shows that on the same planet the climate is strikingly different due to the location of the land.

The continents sit on tectonic plates made of crust and floating on a hot mantle.

The boiling shell of the Earth heats the rocks and forces them to slowly rise to the surface from the bottom of the mantle. In this case, cooling pieces of crust in the fault zones sink to the bottom of the mantle.

Such a circulation movement is called Mantle Convection, and over millions of years, it causes the movement of continental plates – as well as their occasional transformation into supercontinents.

Pangea was preceded by a magical continent called Gondwana, which was formed about 500 million years ago.

Scientists’ calculations are based on the analysis of fossil materials and other temporary evidence, as well as data on the positions of these continents refers to the movement of the mantle.

The scientists’ findings suggest that the Earth’s continents are moving in the direction of the fault zones. They can only move horizontally.

The destruction of Pangea led to the appearance of the Ring of Fire – a set of fault zones along the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean, which feed volcanoes and earthquakes with their energy.

via GIPHY

Eurasia is approaching the Ring of Fire and may collide with the American continents, forming Amasia.

“We can see a kind of rhythm in the evolution of the Earth,” says Damian Nance, a geologist at Ohio University and an expert on supercontinent motion. 

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