In a study published on September 28, 2022 in the scientific journal The National Science Review a team of researchers from Curtin University in Australia and Beijing University in China has revealed what the Earth will look like in 300 million years. Forget, Europe, Asia, the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean, the surface of the globe will no longer have the same face. The continents that we know should come together and form a supercontinent: Amasia.
Amasia “will be born when the Pacific Ocean disappears”
“Over the past two billion years, Earth’s continents have collided to form a supercontinent every 600 million years, known as the supercontinent cycle. This means that the current continents are bound to reunite again in a few hundred million years.geophysicist and university professor Chuan Huang, lead author of the study, told US television channel CNN.
“The new supercontinent will be born when the Pacific Ocean disappears, when America collides with Asia. Australia will also play a part in this planetary event, first colliding with Asia, then connecting America and Asia once the Pacific Ocean closes.”adds the university.
Amasia’s appearance in about 300 million years. © Map: Curin University
A natural process whose next iteration is expected in 200 to 300 million years according to experts. But how did the scientists come to this conclusion? To model the new supercontinent, the researchers equipped themselves “a computer capable of performing 4D geodynamic modeling taking into account several parameters, such as the thickness and strength of the lithosphere over time, and the influence of areas considered to be at low seismic wave speeds”recalls the specialized site Futura Sciences.
What is a supercontinent?
A supercontinent is a single landmass made up of all or most of the continental lithosphere (the outer layer of the Earth, 100-200 km thick). This phenomenon occurs every 600 million years.
“Earth’s tectonic plates are moving across the Earth’s mantle, largely altering its landscape. An essential activity for the Earth to expel its internal heat “says the magazine Geo .
The last known supercontinent is Pangea. It was formed nearly 300 million years ago. This supercontinent broke apart “between 170 and 180 million years ago, when dinosaurs populated the Earth”highlighted CNN.
What climate on a supercontinent?
According to scientists, the newly formed supercontinent will have reduced biodiversity. “Earth as we know it will be radically different when Amasia forms. Sea levels are expected to be lower, and the vast interior of the supercontinent will be very arid, with high daily temperature ranges.”stated in The National Science Review study co-author Zheng-Xiang Li.