All life on earth will be wiped out, and here is why

There are five extinction level events definitely on the horizon for us all. We may get around one, but definitely not all.

Kesh Anand
Jun 5 · 4 min read
Credit: Arek Socha from Pixabay

Earth is the only place in the known universe where the existence of life has been confirmed. Over 8.7 million species are known to exist — all of them to be wiped clean off the earth in due course.

No, I’m not referring to climate change — because there is something we can do about that. No, I’m not talking about human activities such as hunting and habitat destruction either that will also see the demise of many a species.

I’m talking about big things. Cataclysmic things. Things we have no workaround for in the foreseeable future — but know is coming eventually. Here are five such things:

  1. Eventual plant death: 600 million years from now:

Carbon Dioxide levels are expected to drop below the minimum threshold required for photosynthesis — which will effectively kill almost all plant life. Less plants means less herbivores which means less carnivores.

2. Loss of magnetosphere: 3 billion years from now:

The magnetosphere protects the earth from solar winds and radiation. However, it is likely that the magnetosphere will eventually collapse.

No magnetosphere and thinning atmosphere means increased exposure to radiation which in turn results in radiation sickness, cancers, and other bad things. Incidentally, this is currently also one of our key issues with Mars colonisation.

2. Oceans evaporate: 4 Billion years from now

The sun is getting hotter. In about 1 billion years, it will be 10% hotter; in 4 billion years - it will be 40% hotter. As the sun heats up — increased heat energy from the sun will be absorbed by our gullible atmosphere.

This starts a runaway greenhouse effect whereby the ocean’s waters will increasingly be in a gaseous state (steam, mist, what have you), as opposed to liquid. Airborne water molecules can far more easily escape our atmosphere, out into space leaving our planet dry, barren and ocean-less.

No oceans mean no sea life or anything that depends on sea life. No ocean also means we lose most of our planet’s oxygen production capability meaning we all suffocate and die.

3. Expansion of the sun: 7.5 Billion years from now

The sun will expand into being a red giant. This will either result in the earth being completely crushed/consumed by the sun, or result in the planet being very very close to the star — meaning it is too hot for anything to exist here. Similar to the above — the oceans will boil off and all life will be seared from medium to well done!

4. Loss of the moon: 50 billion years from now

If by some miracle we survive all of the above, we may end up losing the moon.

The moon is travelling away from us at a rate of 4cm a year. When the earth was young — 4.5 billion years ago, the moon loomed about 17 times larger in the night sky!

Eventually, it will be so far away that it effectively becomes tidally locked with the earth (just as we only see one side of the moon, the moon will only see one side of the earth). This will effectively stop the tides, and thus ocean currents, and cause the mass extinction of sea life, and those reliant upon it.

Now, this would presumably happen gradually which may allow species to adapt.

5. Heat death of the universe: 10^106 years from now

The universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. Eventually, all the matter currently in the universe will be spread out across an infinitely larger area. Matter so thinly spread will not be able to coalesce into new planets and stars meaning no new ones are “born”, so to speak. Combine this with the fact that all existing stars will eventually die too — it means that the universe will be without any stars at all, and without stars, there can be no life. An eventual heat death of the universe


We better get the heck out of here before that happens. Suddenly some of the world’s biggest dramas (Brexit, disliked US presidents, global recessions, etc) don’t seem like such a big deal anymore…in the scheme of things anyway


Predict

where the future is written

Kesh Anand

Written by

I write about our society and its intersection with our history, the present, and the future.

Predict

Predict

where the future is written