Scientists from Curtin University in Australia have shown what Earth’s next giant continent, called “Amasia”, will look like. According to the researchers, this large land mass will form when the Pacific Ocean is completely closed. This happens slowly, and is completed within 200 million or 300 million years. The study was published in the scientific journal National Science Review.
According to Xuan Huang, head of the study, a phenomenon known as the “supercontinent cycle” occurs every 600 million years. This happens when the Earth’s continents collide and form a supercontinent. “The current continents should unite again within a few hundred million years,” the researcher explained.
The scientists used a supercomputer to simulate how these collisions might occur. “The resulting new supercontinent is named Amasya because some believe that the Pacific Ocean will close – unlike the Atlantic and Indian Oceans – when America collides with Asia,” Huang said. “Australia is also expected to play a major role in this land event – first, colliding with Asia; then connecting America and Asia when the Pacific closes.”
By simulating how Earth’s tectonic plates evolved, “we were able to show that in less than 300 million years, the Pacific Ocean will likely close, allowing the formation of Amasia,” says the scientist.
According to Zheng-Xiang Li, co-author of the study, when one continental mass dominates the entire world, there will be a drastic change in the planet’s ecosystem and environment. “The Earth as we know it will be completely different when Amasia forms,” he explained. “Sea level is expected to be lower and the vast interior of the giant continent will be very arid, with rising daily temperatures.”
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