Long after humans have kicked the bucket, this is how the planet may look.

The Earth's "far future" contains some good news, but mostly a lot of bad news.

On the one hand, there's a concurrence of Gregorian and Islamic calendars (18,860 years), raising the possibility that warring cultures may finally get on the same page. And the Chernobyl nuclear plant becomes completely safe (20,000 years).

On the other, all today's buildings have crumbled away (1,000 years). The Earth's axial tilt has switched sides (13,000 years) producing hotter summers and colder winters.

Basically, it's not looking good, and it only gets worse. Men die off completely after 5 million years (because of a weakening of the 'Y' chromosome).

2014-01-13

How The World Will Look In 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 Years Time

All of our hand-wringing over climate change will seem pretty silly after an asteroid strike, supervolcano eruption, and disappearance of the male species.

Want to know how the planet might look in 100 quintillion years time? (That's 100,000,000,000,000,000,000, with 20 zeros, in case you've forgotten). Take a look at this infographic, which was created for the BBC by IIB Studio. It shows how things may finally turn out long after humans have kicked the bucket.

The Earth's "far future" contains some good news, but mostly a lot of bad news. On the one hand, there's a concurrence of Gregorian and Islamic calendars (18,860 years), raising the possibility that warring cultures may finally get on the same page. And the Chernobyl nuclear plant becomes completely safe (20,000 years). On the other, all today's buildings have crumbled away (1,000 years). The Earth's axial tilt has switched sides (13,000 years) producing hotter summers and colder winters. Niagara Falls has disappeared (50,000 years), because Lake Erie is gone. And, there's been a super-volcano eruption, or half-mile wide asteroid strike (500,000 years).

Basically, it's not looking good, and it only gets worse. Men die off completely after 5 million years (because of a weakening of the 'Y' chromosome). Then, the Mediterranean Sea disappears as well (50 million years). After a billion years, the whole human race vanishes, irradiated by a Sun 10% hotter than today's. It's one trial after another.

The BBC's chart follows another from a year ago predicting just the next 150 years. That was pretty dystopian too (though at least we still had the Med to swim around in). Looking darkly into the future does serve a purpose, though. It makes you realize things now aren't that bad after all.

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38 Comments

  • "The Earth's axial tilt has switched sides (13,000 years) producing hotter summers and colder winters". This article is so wrong on so many levels. In 2 billion years the sun will have grown to the point of boiling off the oceans and extinguishing all surface life. In 5 billion years the expanding sun will engulf and vaporize earth, so after that, all earth time is moot. In 100 quintillion years, the galaxies will have flown apart by incalculable miles and dissolved, leaving only particles which will continue to dissolve for another 100 quintillion or more years.

  • Richard Oesterling

    Tom, I concur, you are correct. Consider a number too large to be comprehended. Worry about today, worry about tomorrow for our children and our children's children. It is our duty to carry on and the sole reason we are all here, it is the meaning of life to carry on the greatest species ever created.

  • kjm_sd

    This article is pure garbage on so many levels it's hard to decide where to start. Suffice it to say, if earth survives the Milky Way/Andromeda collision 4 billion years from now - not very likely - it will not survive the sun's red giant phase one billion years later. Anything speculated beyond 5 billion years is shear garbage.

  • kjm_sd

    This article is pure garbage on so many levels it's hard to decide where to start. Suffice it to say, if earth survives the Milky Way/Andromeda collision 4 billion years from now - not very likely - it will not survive the sun's red giant phase one billion years later. Anything speculated beyond 5 billion years is shear garbage.

  • Art Faucett

    STFU to your double post to boot. You can't even post correctly. You're garbage...

  • garyhockey1

    I'm having some trouble considering any of these science-based predictions to be of any value (even if only entertainment) when the byline of the article mentions "the male species" - I guess that would be as distinct from "the female species"...

  • Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. ...consensus science "is an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had." Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."

"There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period..." MICHAEL CRICHTON

  • Of the 186 billion tons of CO2 that enter earth's atmosphere each year from all sources, it is estimated that only 6 billion tons are from human activity, 6/186 = .03225 = 3.225%.

    At 368 parts per million, CO2 is a minor constituent of earth's atmosphere, less than 4/100ths of 1% of all gases present, .0368%.

    Compared to former geologic times, earth's current atmosphere is CO2 impoverished. 


    However, human CO2 activity accounts for only 3.225% of the .0368% of C02 in the atmospheric gases or 0.0011868% of the total global atmospheric gases!

  • Until the 1940's, there had been a warming trend in response to a Little Ice Age that had occurred in the 17th century. It coincided with a period when the sun had a greatly reduced radiation activity. This is known as the Maunder Minimum 11 yr cycle.

    Fully 95% of the carbon dioxide, now identified by Greens, i.e., U.S. and worldwide environmentalists, as a form of pollution, is produced by natural sources such as volcanoes, evaporating seawater, decaying organic matter, and from plant and animal respiration and excretions.

    Each year, 157 billion metric tons is released in the atmosphere. Of this amount, barely 457.2 million tons comes from cars and trucks. According to American Enterprise Institute researcher, James Johnson,

                            "Eliminating all U.S. gasoline powered vehicles would reduce
                            worldwide carbon dioxide emissions by 0.18%."

    Simply put, the earth has warmed about 1 deg F in the past 100 yrs & began cooling after 1940s.

  • Harvey Matthew

    Imagine that, a fellow of the conservative think tank defending the status quo. I got some Captain Renault going on up in here.

  • Britain's Channel 4 has produced a devastating documentary titled "The Great Global Warming Swindle." It has apparently not been broadcast by any of the networks in the United States. But, fortunately, it is available on the Internet. http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/G/great_global_warming_swindle/ http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4340135300469846467

    Distinguished scientists specializing in climate and climate-related fields talk in plain English and present readily understood graphs showing what a crock the current global warming hysteria is.

    These include scientists from MIT and top-tier universities in a number of countries. Some of these are scientists whose names were paraded on some of the global warming publications that are being promoted in the media -- but who state plainly that they neither wrote those publications nor approved them.

    One scientist threatened to sue unless his name was removed

  • A number of interesting things can be seen in the historic temp record data, including the depths of the Little Ice Age in the late 17th century when the Thames regularly froze over, and the Dalton Minimum which was the last time the Thames froze over in the City of London. It last froze over upstream at Oxford in 1963.

    The warm period in the 1930s and 1940s was seen in the shorter US rural data set and the rise to the El Nino in 1998. What is also interesting is the 2.2° temperature rise from 7.8° in 1696 to 10.0° in 1732. This is a 2.2° rise is 36 years. By comparison, the world has seen a 0.6° rise over the 100 years of the 20th century.

    That temp rise in the early 18th century was 4x as large and 3x as fast as the rise in the 20th century. The significance of this is that the world can experience very rapid temperature swings all due to natural causes.

    We are in an interglacial that's lasted 10,000 years. Interglacials are usually much shorter, so the next ice age is over due!