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View Full Version : NGC: Clash of the Continents



Githyanki
2010-Jul-30, 04:54 AM
So last Sunday, NGC had a show about an astronaut that through time dilation, arrived to Earth 250 million years from now when Pangea-Ultima formed (Super-continent) and the show was about the effects the monuments of man would have 250YFN.

I had some things I liked


Human layer (chemical layer in the rock about a centimeter that was the human-era.
Detailed scientific work on the likely-hood of human artifacts being fossilized.
Good geological construction of Pangea-Ultima and reflections of climate based on it.
Descendants of cockroaches who have become sentient puzzled by the Spinx.

What I didn't like.
The astronaut had one advanced ship. The American flag planted on the Moon would probably be constructed over as humans would colonize every part of the Moon and their cities would still be there; covered in dust, however. Same goes for Mars, but with red dust and more wind/water erosion.
The Oceans have no advanced life due to lack of O2. Ok, I'm pretty sure humans are going to kill EVERYTHING in the sea. Seriously, the seas, one day, will be lifeless; however, something from land will fill the void; they always do. The Pangean seas 250MYA had a ton of sea-life and it was a super-continent as well. Even if the shape of Pangean-Ultima somehow reduces the O2 in the oceans, there were 200 million years before the super continent formed, choking the currents that new sea-life could evolve and form; perhaps sea-creatures develop lungs like dolphins.



Though, I did like the Future Is Wild. However, their assumptions about which creatures would survive were a little generous.

We are probably in the middle of the greatest mass-extinction with world has ever seen. Everyone's talking about what man is doing to oceans, global warming etc., but this isn't nothing. This is just one step in steps humans have taken to extinct other species for are own survival.

It's a cycle; humans pollute and trash their environment, only to have it collapse and their civilization collapse with it; only, the cycle repeats itself over and over and over again. This current ecological disaster happening isn't going to be the end of our species; it's just one of many to come. Humans will suffer for a few thousand, or ten thousand years while the ecosystem recovers; we will have forgotten the past and we will do it over and over again until we go extinct or are replaced by a more advance form of human.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jul-30, 11:10 AM
The Oceans have no advanced life due to lack of O2. Ok, I'm pretty sure humans are going to kill EVERYTHING in the sea. Seriously, the seas, one day, will be lifeless; however, something from land will fill the void; they always do. The Pangean seas 250MYA had a ton of sea-life and it was a super-continent as well. Even if the shape of Pangean-Ultima somehow reduces the O2 in the oceans, there were 200 million years before the super continent formed, choking the currents that new sea-life could evolve and form; perhaps sea-creatures develop lungs like dolphins.
And there's the fumarole ecosystems and the wormthingies living on the surface of methane ice.
And basically I don't see a way to remove the oxygen except in fairly isolated localized areas, photosynthesis is one of the "once invented, never forgotten" things, the advantage is just so large that there's no way it'll disappear again.

Ronald Brak
2010-Jul-30, 12:29 PM
If we are just talking about the oceans they can go anoxic below the surface layers. This appears to have happened many times and typically lasts about half a million years. It appears that a great deal of oil could have formed from organic gunk that piles up on the ocean floor during such events. But multicellular life should still be able to exist in the oxygenated surface layer.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-02, 04:14 AM
We are probably in the middle of the greatest mass-extinction with world has ever seen.

You need a longer-term geologic perspective.

caveman1917
2010-Aug-03, 03:38 AM
The Oceans have no advanced life due to lack of O2.

I saw that show too today, and that also bugged me a lot. Especially since they hypothesized marine life would have been taken over by cyanobacteria. Wouldn't they then pump oxygen back in?