Actually, during the end of the Permian (about
252 million years ago) there was a large
extinction event, which killed even more
animals than the one that killed the
dinosaurs. More than 90% of all the animals in
the oceans were killed during that time and many
animals on land as well. We do not know exactly
why the animals died although there is a lot of
evidence that large volcanic eruptions could have
caused it. Some scientists found evidence that the
oceans became very acidic, which would harm ocean
Catastrophes like the extinction of the
dinosaurs and the end of the Permian killed many
animals. However, these happen very rarely, and
life has continued. That is why I think that
even if we have a catastrophe, life will still
adapt and survive.
Based on our current models of how stars work, the
sun will become large enough to envelop the earth
in about five billion years' time. The earth will
be too hot to live on long before then.
Any number of other events could happen sooner
that you might call 'apocalyptic', but they are on
different scales. A global thermonuclear war, for
example, might destroy human civilization, but
wouldn't wipe out all life on the planet.
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