The Future Of Earth: A Fiery, Unlivable Hellscape


The silver lining? Climate change might get us first.

Earth: A Youngster with Big Changes Ahead

Earth, our home for the past 4.5 billion years, has seen quite the transformation.

From a scorching ball of molten rock to a planet teeming with life, it’s been quite a ride. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, Earth is still a youngster.

We’re only about a third of the way through its expected lifespan, and boy, does it have some wild plans for the future.

Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Looking Good for Us

But don’t pack your bags just yet—we probably won’t live to see these changes.

A recent study using supercomputers predicts Earth’s climate for the next 250 million years. Spoiler alert: it’s not looking good for us mammals.

Picture a world with a single supercontinent, unimaginatively named Pangea Ultima, where temperatures soar between 104 to 158 °F. Yikes.

The Triple Whammy: CO2, a Hotter Sun, and a Supercontinent

“The outlook in the distant future appears very bleak,” says Alexander Farnsworth, Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol and lead author of the study.

And he’s not exaggerating. The study suggests that carbon dioxide levels could double, the sun will shine 2.5% brighter, and the supercontinent will be smack in the hot, humid tropics.

Talk about a triple whammy!

Living in an Oven: The Uninhabitable Future

What does this mean for us? Picture an oven. Now, imagine living in it. “The result is a mostly hostile environment devoid of food and water sources for mammals,” Farnsworth explains.

“Widespread temperatures of 104 to 122 °F, with even higher daily extremes, compounded by high humidity, would ultimately seal our fate.

Humans, along with many other species, would simply overheat and perish.”

Best-Case Scenario? Not So Much

But here’s the real kicker: this is the best-case scenario.

Benjamin Mills, Professor of Earth System Evolution at the University of Leeds, warns that if we keep burning fossil fuels, we could hit these extreme CO2 levels much sooner.

“We think CO2 could rise from around 400 parts per million (ppm) today to more than 600 ppm many millions of years in the future,” he says.

“If humans don’t stop burning fossil fuels, those numbers will arrive much, much sooner.”

The Real Crisis: Today’s Climate Change

While this apocalyptic future might sound like science fiction, it’s a stark reminder of the very real climate crisis we’re facing today.

“It is vitally important not to lose sight of our current Climate Crisis, which is a result of human emissions of greenhouse gases,” says Eunice Lo, Research Fellow in Climate Change and Health at the University of Bristol and co-author of the paper.

“We are already experiencing extreme heat that is detrimental to human health,” she points out.

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

Conclusion: Tackling Climate Change Head-On

So, while we might not be around to witness Earth’s fiery end, it’s crucial we tackle the climate crisis head-on.

Let’s make sure we leave a livable planet for future generations—even if Pangea Ultima is looming in the far distance.