A new supercontinent will appear on Earth: when and how it may happen
A new supercontinent will be formed on Earth in about 200 million years,, uniting the seven continents that exist now. As a result, the Arctic Ocean is likely to disappear completely.
Ross Mitchell, a geophysicist and professor at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, wrote about this in his book. He also explained the reasons for this convergence of distant continents and what the future holds for the Earth.
Supercontinents have existed on Earth before: in particular, the dinosaur-inhabited Pangea, whose center was modern Africa; the barren Rodinia, whose center consisted of most of modern North America and Greenland; and even before that, Colombia or Nuna, a supercontinent centered in Siberia.
How supercontinents are formed
As Mitchell explains, the reason for the formation of continents is the movement of the solid but pliable mantle, which transfers heat from the core to the Earth's crust.
Scientists assume that as temperatures rise, continents drift to regions where the mantle is cold.
Such places exist where oceanic plates sink into the mantle under more buoyant tectonic plates (a process called subduction). As a result, the ocean slowly disappears, bringing continents closer together. Eventually, this leads to a collision and the emergence of a new supercontinent.
Mantle modeling suggests that after the supercontinent has formed, the continuous inward pull will stop as new subduction zones will form on the supercontinent's coasts.
Subsequently, the hot mantle will cause the supercontinent to eventually break apart and form new oceans. This will be the beginning of a new continental cycle that will end with the emergence of a new supercontinent.
The supercontinent Amazia
It is generally accepted that the new supercontinent will be called Amazia or Pangea Ultima. But the process of its formation is controversial among scientists.
In particular, some researchers believe that in 50 million years, the first connections of existing continents will begin, leading to the emergence of a supercontinent. As a result, Africa will merge with Europe, and Australia will merge with Asia. As a result of this movement, the Atlantic Ocean will completely disappear. There is also another version that suggests that the Pacific Ocean will disappear.
Instead of that, Mitchell believes that Amazia will be formed in the North of our planet. In his opinion, the Arctic Ocean will disappear when America and Eurasia meet at the North Pole, pulling other continents with them.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL also published a video in which scientists showed how the Earth has evolved over 100 million years.