Earth in 250 million years won’t be the planet we know and love today. Plate tectonics theory reveals how plates comprising Earth’s outer shell glide atop the mantle, causing continents to drift apart or come together. Business Insider put together an animation, using projections from Northwestern University adjunct professor Christopher Scotese, to envision Earth millions of years in the future. And it looks like a very different place. In fact, a whole new supercontinent could form.
Scotese runs the PALEOMAP Project, which includes a YouTube channel with over 50 computer animations that show “the plate tectonic evolution of the continents and ocean basins during the last billion years.” Business Insider drew on Scotese’s projections to create a video of what Earth could look like in 250 million years.
You can watch as some continents join together and others move away from each other, as land masses start to look like they might form a supercontinent. The final image is of a globe with an ocean filling most of one side, and land masses pushed together across the other side as the continents begin to merge.
In the description of one of his videos, titled “240 million years ago to 250 million years in the future,” Scotese suggested another Pangea will form 250 million years into the future. He calls it Pangea Proxima. He said in the description of another video, “Future Plate Motions & Pangea Proxima – Scotese Animation,” he changed the name of the supercontinent from Pangea Ultima to Pangea Proxima to reflect “the fact that plate tectonics will continue for several more billion years and that other future Pangeas are very likely.”
You can see Business Insider’s animated map here. Many more animations of our changing planet can be found on Scotese’s YouTube page. In addition to how plate tectonics might change the globe, Scotese has explored how climate change might alter Earth.
Via Business Insider
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