JUN 05, 2017 10:42 AM PDT

What will our planet be like in one billion years?


It's hard to imagine what will become of our planet in the next 100 years, let alone 1,000,000,000 years. While many things are uncertain regarding our planet's (and our own) future, some things are inevitable. For instance, providing that current trends of globalization continue, within 10,000 years human genetic variation will not be different in different regions of the world, meaning that all human genetic traits like skin color and hair color will be evenly distributed throughout the world. Talk about breaking boundaries! Flashing forward another 10,000 years, to 20,000 years from now, we will see that at this time only 1% of modern words in all languages will still exist. That means that essentially none of the languages we speak in today will be recognizable!

But what about the planet itself? In 50,000 years the planet will enter into a glacial period, no matter what happens with climate change. Niagara falls will erode into Lake Erie, and most of Canada's lakes will also cease to exist because of glacial rebound and erosion. Not to mention that we will have gained a second onto our day - making a "leap second" adjustment necessary for our time system.

Skipping forward even more, we reach 1,000,000 years from now, by which time Earth will have likely experienced an eruption from a super-volcano that could explode 3,200 cubic km of ash into the atmosphere. But that's nothing compared to the eastern part of Africa splitting off from the main continent in 10 million years, thus creating a new continent and ocean shelf! Want to find out what happens at 1 billion years? Watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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