Our planet is constantly changing, however, to imagine how it will look Earth in 50, 100 and 200 million years is not so easy. The fact that our rocky planet is a mosaic of tectonic plates which exert pressure on each other and create processes, which are born of the oceans and the mountains. Despite the fact that we do not notice, the plates are constantly moving. Thus, according to conventional theory, the gradual movement of plates in the past divided the supercontinent Pangaea and is still ongoing. Today, considering the past of the Earth and armed with modern technology, we can predict the future movements of continents. But what changes now?
Continental drift and seismic tomography
The most popular theory today says that in the future the Earth will appear again supercontinent like Pangaea. According to the theory of plate tectonics, the outer shell of the Earth is divided into several plates that slide slowly on the mantle. Over time it changes the Earth’s surface by the merger or separation of continents. Chris Scotese, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences at northwestern University is studying how plate tectonics and climate change will affect the appearance of the Earth in the future. So, based on research, Scotese made some animated maps that show how to change our home after 250 million years:
Moreover, today, to predict future changes geologists helps one of the newest ways to study the speed in the deep crust and mantle seismic tomography. Using this technique the researchers came to the conclusion that the continents of the Earth move along the length and width of the surface at a rate of several centimeters per year. Experts believe that this will continue and will lead to a change in the position and collision of the plates. This process is called continental drift. The future conceals many mysteries and amazing discoveries.
The current direction of tectonic plates and their speed allows geologists to predict how to change the position of the continents. Theory Scotese, called Pangea Ultimate predicts that the Atlantic ocean will be less, will bring America to Europe, and the Mediterranean sea will disappear when Africa merges with Europe. Similarly, he calculated that Australia and Southeast Asia combined.
Scientists have proposed various scenarios of how to continue this process in the future. The Union of continents in areas on the border between the two plates will create large mountain ranges like the Himalaya. Other existing ranges will grow. Greenland and Antarctica will depart from the poles, leading to rising sea levels worldwide and change the coast as we know it. Most of these events are simple predictions, and the experts agree that to make such long-term predictions is risky.