Saturday, March 01, 2014

Fate of the Earth

Is it possible that the Planet Earth can become a totally barren planet in the not too distant future? In particular if the CO2 emissions and pollution continue at the current or accelerated rate?

Recommend this post


  1. Very sobering, LD!

  2. Er, no? The Earth has gone through a six degree global warming event in its history, ages and ages ago. Granted, it was an extinction event, but I have faith the Earth should bounce back. Humans, on the other hand....

  3. Troy's right. We can't 'kill' the Earth. We can kill off ourselves and most other lifeforms but the Earth will go on, progress through a predictable series of states, and return to some steady state, possibly similar to the Holocene we trashed.

    Paleontologist Peter Ward is an expert in the five major extinctions, all but the last (asteroid impact) were due to rapid onset (60,000 years) global warming. High atmospheric CO2 acidified the oceans, turning them anoxic, which killed off marine life allowing the formation of massive amounts of hydrogen sulfide that bubbled to the surface of a by then still and oily ocean, killed off most terrestrial life and turned the sky a pale green colour. Then processes were triggered that restored Earth to an oxygen atmosphere and after a few hundreds of thousands, perhaps give or take a million or two, years, a new order of life arose to populate the planet.

    Whether our species will survive is unclear but there's a chance. Less likely is that our knowledge will survive with us and modern man may turn into a species more primitive than we would ever recognize.

  4. Thank you all for your well thought out comments. I am in agreement with you. I was metaphorically saying that humans
    may succeed to kill off all the life on the planet.

    Lorne, indeed sobering.

    Troy Thomas and Mound I agree with your thoughts.

    My initial picture was to show earth split into pieces but this one looked more appropriate.