It’s been about 250 million years since reptile-like animals evolved into mammals. Now a team of scientists is predicting that mammals may have only another 250 million years left.
The researchers built a virtual simulation of our future world, similar to the models that have projected human-caused global warming over the next century. Using data on the movement of the continents across the planet, as well as fluctuations in the chemical makeup of atmosphere, the new study projected much further into the future.
Alexander Farnsworth, a paleoclimate scientist at the University of Bristol who led the team, said that the planet might become too hot for any mammals — ourselves included — to survive on land. The researchers found that the climate will turn deadly thanks to three factors: a brighter sun, a change in the geography of the continents and increases in carbon dioxide.
“It’s a triple whammy that becomes unsurvivable,” Dr. Farnsworth said. He and his colleagues published their study on Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
A new model suggests that in 250 million years, all land will collide into a supercontinent that boosts warming and pushes mammals to extinction. https://t.co/9TUqSKRVjR
— NYT Science (@NYTScience) September 26, 2023