In 300 million years, a supercontinent will form on Earth. All existing continents will move together around the North Pole, scientists from Australia’s Curtin University have said.
They tested their guesses on a new computer model. As it turned out, in 300 million years the Pacific Ocean will disappear, and the continents will gather together around the North Pole. They will form a new supercontinent called Amasya.
According to researchers, the Pacific Ocean is the oldest on Earth. It began to decline even when dinosaurs roamed the planet. Now the ocean is losing several centimeters of its area per year. The computer model showed that Asia is moving east towards the Americas, which are stretching to the west. And so it will go on until the three continents unite. Antarctica will eventually find its way into South America, Africa joining Asia on one side and Europe on the other, completing Amasia.
Earlier studies show that a new supercontinent forms on Earth every 600 million years, scientists say. The previous one was Pangea, which formed 300 million years ago. And the first supercontinent, presumably Vaalbara, formed 3.3 billion years ago, and was followed by Ur 300 million years later. Then there was Kenorland, which formed 2.7 billion years ago. Then came Columbia, which was formed as a result of colossal collisions 1.8 billion years ago.
When Columbia began to fall apart over a period of several hundred million years, they then reunited about a billion years ago. Rodinia formed and dominated the world for the next 350 million years. Pannotia was next, formed about 600 million years ago and lasted about 550 million years. It split into Laurentia, Siberia, and Baltica, with the main land mass Gondwana to the south. It was then – 300 million years ago – that the famous Pangea appeared.
It began to break apart about 200 million years ago, during the early Jurassic, eventually forming the modern continents and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The next supercontinent will be Amasya.
The lead author of the scientific work, Dr. Chuan Huang, explained the name Amasya by the fact that America will connect with Asia. Australia will also play its part in this important event, first clashing with Asia and then connecting America and Asia.
If one continental mass dominates the world, it will drastically change the Earth’s ecosystem and environment. Sea levels are expected to be lower and the vast interior of the supercontinent will become a very dry area with high diurnal temperature ranges, the scientists said.