Supercomputer simulation predicts the year of human extinction on Earth

Spoiler alert: you'll be long gone

  • A supercomputer simulation has predicted when human extinction on Earth could happen
  • It’s a world first for the groundbreaking technology
  • And it’s not how and when you might have thought

Published on May 1, 2024 at 12:55PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 3, 2024 at 3:26PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood
Supercomputer simulation predicts the year of human extinction on Earth

A supercomputer simulation has taken a look into the future and predicted when human extinction on Earth could happen in a world first for the groundbreaking technology.

With climate change, the threat of robots taking over, and the possibility of global war looming – it turns out we’ve got more time than you might think.

Researchers at the University of Bristol published a paper last year claiming to have pinpointed how and when life on Earth as we know it will end.

READ MORE! $1.5B startup close to bringing the woolly mammoth back from the dead

The team used the new technology of a supercomputer to crunch geological and atmospheric data.

Surprisingly the major threat for human extinction didn’t come from outer space – like the ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid or AI robots taking over the planet.

In fact, the reason the supercomputer gave for the ‘next mass extinction since the dinosaurs died out’ is actually tectonic plates.

You might know that these are huge and irregular pieces of the Earth’s crust, which fit together like a puzzle covering Earth.

And you also might know their collisions are responsible for earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes – even the ones that spew gold.

What you might not know, however, is that they’re likely to eliminate nearly all mammals, leading to human extinction, in roughly 250 million years.

According to this research, that’s the time they’ll collide and merge to form one massive supercontinent called ‘Pangea Ultima’.

“The newly-emerged supercontinent would effectively create a triple whammy, comprising the continentality effect, hotter sun, and more CO2 in the atmosphere, of increasing heat for much of the planet,” a member of the research team, Dr Alexander Farnsworth, said

The result would be a climate with typical temperatures much higher than Earth’s today, sitting between 40 and 50° Celsius.

Adding to that, ensuing humidity would severely compromise mammals’ ability to sweat and cool down.

Only eight to 16 percent of land mass would be habitable but with extremely harsh conditions.

“This is why it is crucial to reach net-zero emissions as soon as possible,” co-author, Dr Eunice Lo, research fellow in Climate Change and Health at the University of Bristol, said.

For instance, NASA and Boeing are working on a green X-plane with a modern design that would help reduce flight emissions.

This comes under the effort to help the US achieve net-zero emissions for aviation by 2050.

Several other countries have also joined the United States to bring their emissions as low as they can, in a bid to help get climate change under control.

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