Despite containing critical, even miraculous, components for sustaining life from microscopic viruses to giant blue whales, Earth is home to most if not all mammals, including humans. It is highly likely that there is a future that will bring some kind of destruction to the species.a The study was published in the journal September 25th. natural earth science He made a bold prediction that in about 250 million years, all of Earth’s major land masses will be combined into one. If that happens, our planet could become so hot that it becomes almost completely uninhabitable for mammals.
[Related: Mixing volcanic ash with meteorites may have jump-started life on Earth.]
“Wide range temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius.” [104 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit]And daily extreme conditions, made worse by high levels of humidity, will ultimately decide our fate,” said study co-author Alexander Farnsworth, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Bristol. I have stated in a statement. “Humans, like many other species, will die because they are unable to release this heat through sweat and cool their bodies.”
of The model for this study Predict CO2 In a few million years, levels will rise to between 410ppm and 816ppm. This would be about the same, or up to twice, today’s levels, which are already pushing the planet into dangerously hot waters.
“They do a very good job of explaining that it’s a combination of both factors, and it’s kind of a double whammy situation,” said Ross Mitchell, a geophysicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences who was not involved in the study. ” Said science magazine. “If I have any disagreement with this paper, it’s that they’re more right than I thought.”
This prediction is in good agreement with Earth’s past periods of mass extinction and Earth’s unstable history. Here are some other times when mammalian and human life on Earth was almost completely wiped out.
Pleistocene ancestral bottleneck
Approximately 800,000 to 900,000 years ago, the population of our human ancestors declined dramatically.a Research published in August It is estimated that only about 1,280 breeding individuals were alive during this transition period between the early and middle Pleistocene.about 98.7% of the ancestral population was lost It was the beginning of this ancestral bottleneck that lasted for about 117,000 years.
During this time, modern humans spread out of the African continent and other early human species, such as Neanderthals, began to become extinct. Humans were also first discovered in Australia and the Americas, where the climate was generally cold.
Some of the potential reasons behind this population decline are primarily related to extreme climate. Temperatures changed and severe drought continued., food sources may have diminished as animals such as mammoths, mastodons, and giant sloths went extinct. According to the study, an estimated 65.85 percent of current genetic diversity may have been lost due to this bottleneck.
[Related: We’re one step closer to identifying the first-ever mammals.]
About 250 million years ago, massive volcanic eruptions caused catastrophic climate change that wiped out 80 to 90 percent of Earth’s species. The Permian-Triassic mass extinction, or “Great Extinction,” paved the way for dinosaurs to dominate the Earth, but the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago It was even worse than that.
Scientists believe that the saber-toothed creature, about the size of a tiger, Inostrankevia It traveled 7,000 miles along the Pangea River.according to Research published in MayWhen a terrifying big cat arrives in the southern part of the supercontinent, Inostrankevia As Earth’s species fought to gain a foothold on a changing planet, they filled gaps in ecosystems lacking top predators (before they also went extinct about 252 million years ago).
The researchers say the “Great Death” is the historical event that most closely resembles Earth’s current environmental crisis, so this example of how the past is prologue is a warning for our future. There is also.
“Both are related to global warming related to greenhouse gas emissions caused by Permian volcanoes and current human activity,” said study co-author Christian Kammerer, a museum curator and paleontologist. “I’m working on it,” he said. pop science In May. “[They] This is a very rare case where the icehouse and the Earth’s greenhouse change rapidly. Therefore, the disruption observed in Late Permian ecosystems, where entire parts of food webs are lost, portends our world unless we change things quickly. ”
ultimate mammal survival
Even though the Earth is constantly trying to kill us, life finds a way. Some of our very early ancestors may have even shared a brief moment with titanosaurs and the iconic triceratops. These distant mammalian relatives survived even Earth’s most famous mass extinction event. Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction It wiped out non-avian dinosaurs on a spring day about 66 million years ago.
[Related: This badger-like mammal may have died while trying to eat a dinosaur.]
a Research published in June They reveal that placental mammals, a diverse group that includes humans, dogs and bats, originated in the Cretaceous period and briefly coexisted with dinosaurs. After an asteroid hit Earth near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the devastation wiped out non-avian dinosaurs and many mammals, including Madagascar. Names of animals that look like rodents Vintana Certici Scientists have long debated whether placental mammals existed with dinosaurs before they existed. Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinctionor if it evolved only after the dinosaurs became extinct.
The study shows that the group that includes primates, rabbits and hares (Lagomorpha), and dogs and cats (Carnivora), evolved just before the K-Pg mass extinction, shaping today’s modern lineages of placental mammals. We used statistical analysis to show the impact we started. After an asteroid impact. Like other mammals, they likely began to diversify after dinosaurs faded from the shadows.