|Why do people say that the world is going to die
(be destroyed)? (Note from Claudia: I think that
Jacqueline is speaking from the Earth Sciences
point of view).
|Question Date: 2009-05-26|
Do you mean the destruction of the entire
planet, or just life on the planet? Millions of
years from now, the Earth will someday be
destroyed when the Sun starts to run out of fuel.
The Sun will expand--over millions of years. It
will get so big that Mercury, Venus, and
eventually Earth will touch the Sun's surface,
collide, and be absorbed into the Sun. Then
later, the Sun will shrink until it's a mere shell
of itself, a white dwarf star, cold and
Most of the life on the planet could be
destroyed much sooner, by an asteroid, nuclear
war, or other catastrophe. *Some* kind of "life"
will almost certainly survive, but it might just
be microbes, insects, and other small creatures
for a while.
If you are talking strictly about the earth as
a system, then, this has to do with climate
changes, atmospheric changes and all the things
that come with it (water levels rise, livable land
is lost, air is no longer able to support life).
Could this happen? Yes. Could it happen soon
(under a 1,000years)? Probably not. Earth as a
system tends to move in cycles. If you look
through Earth's history there have been many
different levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere, temperatures have been much
hotter(80degreesF average worldwide, average today
is about 12degreesF) or colder(Earth about 3
billion years ago was one big ice sheet, also
called a snowball Earth). If instead you are
talking about Earth being destroyed by a meteor or
asteroid, this has happened many times in the past
and probably will happen again the future.
Remember the Earth has been around for 4.6billion
years and life has been around about 1.2 billion
years. I personally think many people think
negative and only think of the bad things that can
happen. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all we heard
in the news was about all the great teachers,
musicians, artists, doctors, etc there were and
what wonderful things they are doing, instead all
we hear about is all the tragedies.
In approximately four billion years, the Sun
will become a red giant, and will swallow the
Before then, the Earth is going
to get cooked as the Sun *becomes* a red
Aside from that, I can't think of any
likely reason why the Earth would become sterile.
We humans may by our behavior make it
uninhabitable for us, but whatever we do, the
cockroaches are going to outlive us.
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