The World in 50 million years


Map Code: Ax00881

Paleogeographic research indicates that continental drift operates in a broadly cyclical manner, with the continents fragmenting and dispersing, before coalescing once more into a supercontinent. Supercontinents such as Rodinia, Pannotia and Pangaea seemed to have formed at approximate intervals of 400 million years, which would imply that we are moving towards the consolidation phase now. Unfortunately, the two primary models of the process, introversion and extroversion, describe diametrically opposite paths to consolidation: the continents collapsing inward together, or continuing outward until they meet on the opposite side of the globe. There does seem to be agreement that, over the next 50 million years, Africa will collide with Europe, the Americas will drift west (with California sliding north), and East Africa will shear along the Rift valley and tail Madagascar eastward. Meanwhile, Australia will bulldoze the Indonesian Archipelago, as the northern continents move towards convergence over the Pole.

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