Originally Posted by Razor
Most of our technology was developed in the last couple hundred years.
Where will we be a couple thousand years down the road if advances continue at this pace?
When is our expiration date?
I think we're about halfway toward disappearing...either the sun will burn us up or the earth will "die" on its own - forgot which is supposed to come first...
See also: Risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth
The future of the planet is closely tied to that of the Sun. As a result of the steady accumulation of helium ash at the Sun's core, the star's total luminosity
will slowly increase. The luminosity of the Sun will increase by 10 percent over the next 1.1 Gyr
(1.1 billion years), and by 40% over the next 3.5 Gyr.
Climate models indicate that the rise in radiation reaching the Earth is likely to have dire consequences, including the possible loss of the planet's oceans.
The Earth's increasing surface temperature will accelerate the inorganic CO2 cycle
, reducing its concentration to the lethal levels for plants (10 ppm
for C4 photosynthesis
) in 900 million years. The lack of vegetation will result in the loss of oxygen in the atmosphere, so animal life will become extinct within several million more years.
But even if the Sun were eternal and stable, the continued internal cooling of the Earth would have resulted in a loss of much of its atmosphere and oceans (due to lower volcanism
After another billion years the surface water will have completely disappeared
and the mean global temperature will reach 70°C. The Earth is expected to be effectively habitable for another 500 million years or so
The Sun, as part of its evolution
, will expand to a red giant
in about 5 Gyr. Models predict that the Sun will expand out to about 250 times its present size, roughly 1 AU
Earth's fate is less clear. As a red giant, the Sun will lose roughly 30% of its mass, so, without tidal effects, the Earth will be in an orbit 1.7 AU (250,000,000 km) from the Sun when the star reaches it maximum radius. Therefore, the planet is expected to escape envelopment by the expanded Sun's sparse outer atmosphere, though most, if not all, existing life will be destroyed because of the Sun's increased luminosity.
However, a more recent simulation indicates that Earth's orbit will decay due to tidal effects and drag, causing it to enter the red giant Sun's atmosphere and be destroyed.
shouldn't that be high on the next president's agenda?!