“One day civilization will have to leave Earth, the planning has begun”
If we don’t nuke each other to death, commit an act that renders our water undrinkable or get hit by a fairly large comet we probably have about 1.75 billion years before life is unstainable on our beautiful little planet. Fossils tell us that life on Earth has lasted at least 3.5 billion years. In that time it has survived being frozen, smashed by space debris, mass poisoning, and even lethal radiation. It’s a fairly big challenge to wipe out the planet, despite ourselves.
However the end is inevitable. This from the experts in Wiki.
“During the next four billion years, the luminosity of the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching the Earth. This will result in a higher rate of weathering of silicate minerals, which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In about 600 million years from now, the level of CO2 will fall below the level needed to sustain C3 carbon fixation photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 carbon fixation method, allowing them to persist at CO2 concentrations as low as 10 parts per million. However, the long-term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The extinction of plants will be the demise of almost all animal life, since plants are the base of the food chain on Earth.
In about one billion years, the solar luminosity will be 10% higher than at present. This will cause the atmosphere to become a “moist greenhouse”, resulting in a runaway evaporation of the oceans. As a likely consequence, plate tectonics will come to an end, and with them the entire carbon cycle.
Following this event, in about 2−3 billion years, the planet’s magnetic dynamo may cease, causing the magnetosphere to decay and leading to an accelerated loss of volatiles from the outer atmosphere. Four billion years from now, the increase in the Earth’s surface temperature will cause a runaway greenhouse effect, heating the surface enough to melt it.
By that point, all life on the Earth will be extinct The most probable fate of the planet is absorption by the Sun in about 7.5 billion years, after the star has entered the red giant phase and expanded to cross the planet’s current orbit”.
By the way, how we look after and protect our planet is directly related to how long we can sustain life. And we are not doing a particularly good job of that. There’s not so much natural resources left on earth; oil and gas are running out, thousands of animal and plant specifies are now extinct and in the battle for NOW wealth we are suffocating our planet with man-made climate change.
“Humans and wild animals face new challenges for survival because of climate change. More frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans can directly harm animals, destroy the places they live, and wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods and communities.”
World Wildlife Fund
Hopefully the lessons we learn and a new respect for our environment can help future generations to understand how life can be better sustained in a new world, they will need to colonize if our species is to survive.
As we trial space travel and look outwards for other planets that can sustain life we are glimpsing at the future beyond life on Earth. At some point this relatively modest investment will no doubt increase as we witness the inevitable decline of natural resources and quality of living. And we will have a choice; leave or perish.
Unfortunately too many of us only live for the now and do not care enough what happens beyond our own lifetime. We now desperately need to take action to protect the world we inherited from our forefathers; for all future generations, our Children, their Children and all their Children’s Children, otherwise we are robbing our lineage of an incredible natural beauty, allure and charm we are lucky enough to enjoy on planet earth today.