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Future Earth Steve Dutch University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

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Presentation on theme: "Future Earth Steve Dutch University of Wisconsin-Green Bay."— Presentation transcript:

1 Future Earth Steve Dutch University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

2 Why Look Ahead? Usually picture geologic time by looking back New Perspective Can you picture the U.S. in 1000 years? That’s an instant in geologic time Human activities are ephemeral compared to geologic time

3 1000 Years 5-7 M=8 quakes on San Andreas New Madrid and Cascadia quakes 10 Cascades eruptions Mississippi delta shift Niagara Falls retreats 900 meters Hawaii moves 90 meters Probable damaging meteor impact One or more supernovas

4 Humans in 1000 years Probably many cities and nations will still be extant

5 10,000 years M=8 quakes on San Andreas 100 Cascades eruptions Mississippi delta shifts Niagara Falls retreats 9 kilometers Hawaii moves 900 meters Probable meteor impact with regional effects Hudson’s Bay and Baltic drained Dozens of Supernovas Earth axis tilt 22-1/2 degrees

6 Future Niagara Falls

7 Past and Future Niagara Falls

8 Humans in 10,000 years In 8,000 years we got from proto-Indo- European to English, Latin and Russian Time enough for new languages to evolve Will any word in any language still survive?

9 100,000 years San Andreas shifted by 2.5 kilometers 1000 Cascades eruptions Mississippi delta shifts Niagara Falls retreated to Lake Erie Loihi reaches surface? Numerous meteor impacts with regional effects probable Next ice age? New stars may form

10 The Future Gulf Coast

11 Stars Change Faster than the Earth

12 Humans in 100,000 years Time enough to develop our civilization from Paleolithic technology Fewer natural resources but… Old human deposits may be better sources than rocks

13 1,000,000 years San Andreas shifted by 25 kilometers Large new Cascades volcanoes Mississippi delta shifts Ten ice ages? Loihi and Kilauea as large as present Mauna Loa Several collapses of Hawaiian shields Several supervolcano eruptions Meteor impact with global effects probable

14 The Future San Andreas

15 Bright Stars in the next Million Years

16 Humans in 1,000,000 years Human race itself may evolve If society collapses long enough, different gene pools may speciate

17 What Will Endure 1,000,000 years? Steel corrodes Titanic and Arizona will be gone in 1000 years. Most likely to survive: no steel, solid –Highway and canal cuts –Earth fill dams –Open pit mines and mine dumps –Large monuments (Mount Rushmore, Pyramids)

18 What Will They See of Us? Pleistocene mass extinction Rapid global spread of human artifacts, reduction of forests, and spread of domestic animals Sixth Extinction? –Many endangered organisms would never show up in fossil record –Caution in comparing present extinctions with past –Our choice

19 Future Earth?

20 Long-Term Climatic Trends Brightening of the Sun Capturing of CO2 by carbonate rocks? Moist greenhouse effect Runaway CO2 Greenhouse Effect Venus conditions

21 Planetary Habitable Zones Primarily in the Liquid Water Zone Can’t be too warm Water Vapor in upper atmosphere broken down by solar UV and charged particles (photodissociation) Hydrogen escapes to space

22 Planetary Habitable Zones

23 The Ultimate Long-Term Forecast Slow warming trend for the next billion years Increasing humidity CO 2 decrease leads to extinction of plants? Boiling and evaporation of the oceans

24 The Oreo Model of Life History Micro-organism Earth (0-3 billion years) Multicellular Earth (3-5 billion years) Micro-organism Earth (5-6 billion years) “The white creamy middle”


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