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Expediting The End Of Life

Well, it is still not the time to bawl that the doomsday is fast approaching, as the core of the Earth is cooling down rapidly. A 2013 projection by Andrew Rushby of the University of East Anglia in the UK pegged the Earth’s viability for life to be good for another 1.75 billion to 3.25 billion years, assuming there’s no nuclear holocaust, rogue asteroid or other unforeseen disasters. Hence, considering the Time, the heartbeat of this bluish planet, too, is decreasing at a faster rate. Some of the researchers are of the opinion that it would not be possible for the Earth to be habitable for too long. They have claimed that the Earth would gradually lose its magnetic field, and its atmosphere would become lifeless, like Mars and Mercury. The Blue Planet would become ineligible for survival, and absolutely uninhabitable. A study, recently published in bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal ‘Earth and Planetary Science Letters‘, has revealed this alarming fact.

There are basically two layers of the Earth beneath its surface: Mantle and Core. These two layers also have two sub-layers: Upper Mantle and Lower Mantle, and Outer Core and Inner Core. While the outer core is full of liquid, the inner core is solid. The outer core contains currents of inconceivable hot molten metals, and the movement of currents is considered as the heartbeat of the Earth.

Earth’s core

Researchers have discovered that currents of extremely hot molten metals are cooling down rapidly. As a result, the current of those metals would soon become solid. Researchers have explained that the currents cause various changes in the topography and the subsoil, apart from lowering and lifting the tectonic plates. Movements of these plates from one place to another trigger earthquakes, and also wake up volcanos. All these have helped the existence and survival of life for billions of years. The currents have also created an extremely strong magnetic field around the Earth, preventing the Earth’s atmosphere from evaporating. Even, the currents have helped develop and protect lives on the Earth by safeguarding them from cosmic rays coming from the Sun. They continue to do so, keeping the earthlings, amongst others, alive.

Researchers deserve credit for identifying one of the reasons why the Earth’s heartbeat is declining so fast. It is basically a Magnesium Silicate or Calcium Silicate mineral, called Bridgmanite. It is the most abundant mineral on the Earth, and makes up 70% of Lower Mantle. While the Outer Core contains currents of hot melted iron and nickel, currents of other molten metals are flowing in the Lower Mantle. Bridgmanite in the inner layer of the mantle helps transfer and balance heat between these two extremely hot currents of molten metals. The temperature of the Earth’s core depends on how fast Bridgmanite is doing its job.

Researchers at the ETH Zurich, a Public Research University in the northern Swiss city, have shown that the heat of the Outer Core is coming to the Lower Mantle because of Bridgmanite much faster than expected. As a result, the Outer Core is getting cold, quickly. According to researchers, this process will be further accelerated in the coming days. In other words, the Outer Core of the Earth will become harder, and lifeless at a faster pace. And, it would happen, as Bridgmanite would rapidly get cooled down and converted into another substance, called Post-perovskite (a high-pressure phase of Magnesium Silicate). Post-perovskite is absorbing more and more heat from the Outer Core, making the Earth lifeless.

Meanwhile, the study, published in ‘Earth and Planetary Science Letters‘, did not mention exactly how long it would take to destroy the civilisation. They believe that the Earth would become extremely uninhabitable long before that, due to the Global Warming and Climate Change, with rising sea levels triggering a fall of land, currently home to 200 million people, permanently below the high tide line. Professor Motohiko Murakami, one of the experts at ETH Zurich, has stressed: “Our results could give us a new perspective on the evolution of the Earth’s dynamics. They suggest that Earth, like the other rocky planets Mercury and Mars, is cooling and becoming inactive much faster than expected.” According to the professor, it is of real concern that the Earth’s interior is cooling faster.

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