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Geologic and Biological Timeline of the Earth

Astronomical and geological evidence indicates that the Universe is


approximately 13,700 million years old, and our solar system is about
4,567 million years old. Earth's Moon formed 4,450 million years ago,
just 50 million years after the Earth's formation. Because the composition
of the rocks retrieved from the Moon by the Apollo missions is very
similar to rocks from the Earth, it is thought that the Moon formed as a
result of a collision between the young Earth and a Mars-sized body,
sometimes called Orpheus or Theia, which accreted at a Lagrangian point
60° ahead or behind the Earth. A cataclysmic meteorite bombardment of
the Moon and the Earth 3,900 million years ago is thought to have been
caused by the debris of a planetary collision beyond the earth or by
asteroids whose orbits were destabilized and were sent toward the inner
solar system during the formation of planets beyond the Earth. The Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Global Surveyor have found
evidence that the Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere of Mars may
have been created by a colossal impact with an object 2,000 kilometers
in diameter approximately 3,900 million years ago.[20] The debris from
this impact is a possible source for the cataclysmic meteorite
bombardment (Late Heavy Bombardment) of the Earth and the Moon.

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Approximately 3,000 million years ago, the earth was cool enough for
land masses to form. The supercontinent Rodinia was formed about 1100
million years ago, and it broke into several pieces that drifted apart 750
million years ago. Those pieces came back together about 600 million
years ago, forming the Pan-African mountains in a new supercontinent
called Pannotia. Pannotia started breaking up 550 million years ago to
form Laurasia and Gondwana. Laurasia included what are now North
America, Europe, Siberia, and Greenland. Gondwana included what is
now India, Africa, South America, and Antarctica. Laurasia and Gondwana
rejoined approximately 275 million years ago to form the supercontinent
of Pangea. The break up of Pangea, which still goes on today, has
contributed to the formation of the Atlantic Ocean.

(mya = million years ago)


The times are approximate and may vary by a few million years.

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Precambrian Time
(4567 to 542 mya) Open access
journal
OA journal from
Hadean Eon (4567 to 3800 mya)
Chemistry Central
The Journal of
*************** Systems Chemistry
*************** www.jsystchem.com

*********** Your Zodiac


- 4567 Horoscope
mya: Insert Your Birthdate
Formation & Get Answers about
of the Past-Present and
Solar Future. Free
System AboutAstro.com/horoscope

Sun was only 70% as CO2 Pipeline


bright as today. Conference
- 4450 mya: Earth's collision International forum
with a planetoid on CO2 pipelines in
forms the moon. UK 22 - 23 June
Hadean
- Earth's original hydrogen 2011.
Eon www.clarion.org
and helium atmosphere
(4567 to Make Project
escapes Earth's gravity.
3800 mya) Timelines
- Earth day is 6 hours long
- 3900 mya: Cataclysmic Easy-to-use Project
meteorite bombardment. Management &
- Earth's atmosphere Built-in Timeline
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- Formation of carbonate Number 1 choice for
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carbon dioxide. www.ezglide350.com
- There is no geologic record
for the Hadean Eon.

Archaean Eon (3800 to 2500 mya)

- 3800 mya:
Surface of the
Earth changed
from
molten to
solid rock.
- Water started condensing in
liquid form.
Archaean - Earth day is 15 hours long
Eon - 3500 mya: Monocellular life
(3800 to started (Prokaryotes).
2500 mya) First known oxygen-
producing bacteria:

cyanobacteria
(blue-green
algae) form
stromatolites
- 3000 mya:
Atmosphere has 75%

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nitrogen,
15% carbon dioxide.
Ecological ice
- Sun brightens to 80% of
Leading Maker of
current level.
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Proterozoic Eon (2500 to 542 mya)


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- Stable continents first
appeared.
- 2500 mya: First free Construction
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- 2400
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- 2400 mya: Start of
Eon www.crewshillcashncarry.co.uk
Huronian ice age
(2500 to
Rhyacian Period (2300 to
542 mya)
2050 mya)
- 2200 mya: Organisms with
mitochondria
capable of aerobic
respiration appear.
- 2100 mya: End of Huronian
ice age The Changing Earth
Orosirian Period (2050 to James S.(James S. ...
Best Price $2.85
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- Intensive orogeny
(mountain development)
- 2023 mya: Meteor
impact, 300 km crater Privacy Information
Vredefort, South Africa [9]
- 2000 mya: Solar luminosity
is 85% of current level.
- Oxygen starts accumulating
in the atmosphere
- 1850 mya: Meteor
impact, 250 km crater
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
[9]
Statherian Period (1800
to 1600 mya)

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- Complex single-celled life


appeared.
- Abundant bacteria and
archaeans.
Mesoproterozoic Era (1600
to 1000 mya)
Calymmian Period (1600
to 1400 mya) Evolution of the Earth
- Donald Prothero, J...
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organisms
proliferate.
- Oxygen
builds up in the atmosphere Privacy Information
above 10%.
- Formation of ozone layer
starts blocking
ultraviolet radiation from
the sun.
- 1500 mya: Eukaryotic
(nucleated) cells appear.
Ectasian Period (1400 to Comets and the Origin and
1200 mya) Evolution ...
- Green (Chlorobionta) and Paul J. Thomas, Ro...

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abound.
Stenian Period (1200 to
1000 mya)
Privacy Information
- 1200 mya: Spore/gamete
formation indicates
origin of sexual
reproduction.
- 1100 mya: Formation of
the supercontinent Rodinia

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Neoproterozoic Era (1000


to 542 mya) Privacy Information
Tonian Period (1000 to
850 mya)
- 1000 mya: Multicellular
organisms appear.
- 950 mya: Start of
Stuartian-Varangian ice age
- 900 mya: Earth day is 18
hours long. Reconstructing Human
Cryogenian Period (850 Origins, Second...
Glenn C. Conroy
to 630 mya)
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Privacy Information

- 750 mya: Breakup of

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Rodinia and
formation of the
supercontinent Pannotia
- 750 mya: End of last
magnetic reversal
- 650 mya: Mass extinction
of 70% of dominant sea
plants Astronomy
due to global glaciation Eric Chaisson, Ste...
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hypothesis).

Ediacaran
(Vendian) Privacy Information
Period (630
to 542 mya)
- 590 mya: Meteor
impact, 90 km crater
Acraman, South Australia
- 580 mya: Soft-bodied
organisms developed:
Jellyfish, Tribrachidium,
and Dickinsonia appeared.
- 570 mya: End of
Stuartian-Varangian ice age
- 550 mya: Pannotia
fragmented into Laurasia and
Gondwana

Phanerozoic Eon
(542 mya to present)

Paleozoic Era (542 to 251 mya)

Cambrian Period (542 to


488.3 mya)
- Abundance of multicellular
life.
- Most of the major groups of
animals first appear
Tommotian Stage (534 to
Paleozoic 530 mya)
Era - Animals with shells
(542 to 251 appeared
mya) Solar brightness was 6%
less than today.
Ordovician Period (488.3 to
443.7 mya)
- diverse
marine

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invertebrates, such as
trilobites,
became common
- First vertebrates appear in
the ocean.
- First green plants and fungi
on land.
- Fall in atmospheric carbon
dioxide.
- 450 mya: Start of Andean-
Saharan ice age.
- 443 mya: Glaciation of
Gondwana.
* Mass extinction of many
marine invertebrates.
Second largest mass
extinction event.
49% of genera of fauna
disappeared.
Silurian Period (443.7 to
416 mya)
- 420 mya:
End of
Andean-
Saharan ice age.
- Stabilization of the earth's
climate
- Coral reefs appeared
- First fish with jaws - sharks
- Insects (spiders,
centipedes), and plants
appear on land
Devonian Period (416 to
359.2 mya)
- Ferns and
seed-bearing
plants

(gymnosperms) appeared
- Formation of the first
forests
- Earth day is ~21.8 hours
long.
- Wingless insects appeared
on land
- 375 mya: Vertebrates with
legs, such as Tiktaalik
appeared.
- Atmospheric oxygen level is
about 16%
- First amphibians appear
- 374 mya:
* Mass
extinction of 70% of marine
species.
This was a prolonged series
of extinctions

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occurring over 20 million Caution:


years. Do not poke
Evidence of anoxia in T. rex with
oceanic bottom waters, your pointer
and global cooling. Surface
temperatures dropped
from about 93°F (34°C) to
about 78°F (26°C)
- 359 mya: Meteor
impact, 40 km crater
Woodleigh, Australia
Carboniferous Period
(359.2 to 299 mya)
Mississippian Epoch
(359.2 to 318.1 mya)
(Lower Carboniferous)
- 350 mya:
Beginning of Karoo ice
age.
- Large primitive trees
develop
- Forests consist of ferns,
club mosses, horsetails, and
gymnosperms.
- Oxygen levels increase
- Vertebrates appear on
land
- First winged insects.
- Seas covered parts of the
continents
- Animals laying amniote
eggs appear (318 mya)
Pennsylvanian Epoch
(318.1 to 299 mya)
(Upper
Carboniferous)
- 310 mya:
First reptiles
- Atmospheric oxygen levels
reach over 30%
- Earth day is ~22.4 hours
long.
- Giant arthropods populate
the land
- Transgression and
regression of the seas
caused by glaciation
- Deposits of coal form in
Europe, Asia,
and North America
Permian Period (299 to 251
mya)
- 275
mya:

Formation of the
supercontinent Pangea

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- Conifers and
cycads first
appear
- Earth is cold
and dry
- Sail-backed synapsids like
Edaphosaurus and
Dimetrodon appeared
- 260 mya: End of Karoo ice
age.
- 251 mya: * Mass extinction
(Permian-Triassic)
- Possible 480km-wide
meteor crater in the
Wilkes Land region of
Antarctica [26]
- Period of great volcanism in
Siberia releases
large volume of gases
(CO2, CH4, and H2S) [8]
- Oxygen (O2) levels dropped
from 30% to 12%
Carbon dioxide (CO2) level
was about 2000 ppm
Earth's worst mass
extinction eliminated
90% of ocean dwellers,
and 70% of land
plants and animals.

Mesozoic Era (251 to 65.5 mya)

Triassic Period (251 to


199.6 mya)
Mesozoic
Era
(251 to 65.5
mya)

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- Break-up of Pangaea starts


- Survivors of
P-T extinction
spread and recolonize
- Reptiles populate the land.
- 240 mya: Sea urchins
(Arkarua) appear
- 235 mya: Evolutionary split
between dinosaurs and lizards
- Giant marine ichthyosaurs
and plesiosaurs populate the
seas
- First small dinosaurs such
as celophysis appear on land
- Adelobasileus
proto-mammal
emerged (225
mya)
- 214 mya:
Meteor impact, 100 km crater
Manicouagan, Quebec,
Canada [9]
- 205 mya: First evidence of
mammals: Morganucodon
- 201 mya: * Mass extinction
caused by oceanic anoxic
event
killed 20% of all marine
families
Jurassic Period (199.6 to
145.5 mya)
- Earth is
warm. There
is no polar ice
- Cycads, conifers and
ginkgoes are the dominant
plants
- Age of the dinosaurs
- Giant herbivores and
vicious carnivores
dominate the land
- Flying
reptiles
(Pterosaurs)
appeared.
- 180 mya: North America
separates from Africa
- 167 mya: Meteor
impact, 80 km crater
Puchezh-Katunki, Russia
[9]
- 166 mya: Evolutionary split
of monotremes from primitive
mammals
- 150 mya: First

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birds like
Archaeopteryx
appear
- 148 mya: Evolutionary split
between
marsupial and eutherian
mammals
- 145 mya: Meteor
impact, 70 km crater
Morokweng, South Africa
[9]
Cretaceous Period (145.5 to
65.5 mya)
- Period of Active Crust Plate
Movements
- 133 mya: Meteor
impact, 55 km crater
Tookoonooka, Australia [9]
- 125 mya: Africa and India
separate from Antarctica
- Global warming
event starts (120 mya)
Carbon dioxide
levels were 550 to 590 ppm
[27]
- Flowering plants
(angiosperms) appeared
- 110 mya: Crocodiles
appeared
- South America breaks away
from Africa (105 mya)
- Formation of
the Atlantic
Ocean
- Earth has no
polar ice
- Modern mammals and birds
developed
- 100 mya: Earth's magnetic
field is
3 times stronger than
today.
- 90 mya: Global warming
event ends
- 70 mya: Meteor impact,
65 km crater
Kara, Russia [9]
- 68 mya: Tyrannosaurus rex
thrived
- 67 mya:
Deccan Traps
volcanic
eruptions start in
India
and produce great volume
of lava and gases.
- 65.5 mya: Meteor
impact, 170 km crater
Chicxulub, Yucatan, Mexico
[9]
- * Mass extinction of

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80-90% of marine species


and 85% of land species,
including the dinosaurs.

Cenozoic Era (65.5 mya to today)

Paleogene Period (65.5 to


23.03 mya)
Tertiary Period (65.5 to
2.58 mya)

Paleocene
Epoch
(65.5 to
54.8 mya)
- 63 mya: End of Deccan
Traps volcanic eruptions in
India
- Appearance of placental
mammals
(marsupials,
insectivores, lemuroids,
creodonts)
- Flowering plants become
Cenozoic widespread.
Era - 60 mya: Earliest known
(65.5 mya ungulate (hoofed mammal)
to today) - Formation of the Rocky
Mountains
- 55 mya: Major global
warming episode
North Pole temperature
averaged 23°C (73.4°F),
CO2 concentration was
2000 ppm.
Eocene Epoch (54.8 to
33.7 mya)
- 50 mya: India meets Asia
forming the Himalayas
-45 mya: Australia
separates from Antarctica
- Modern mammals appear
rhinoceros, camels, early
horses appear
- 35.6 mya: Meteor
impacts, 90 and 100 km
craters
Chesapeake Bay,
Virginia, USA, and
Popigai, Russia [9,10]
- 34 mya: Global cooling
creates
permanent Antarctic ice

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sheet [21]

Oligocene Epoch (33.7 to


23.03 mya)
- Appearance of many
grasses
- First elephants with
trunks
- 27.8 mya: La Garita,
Colorado supervolcanic
eruption

Neogene Period (23.03


mya to today)
Miocene Epoch (23.03 to
5.3 mya)
- African-Arabian plate
joined to Asia
- 14 mya: Antarctica
separates from Australia and
South America
circum-polar ocean
circulation builds up
Antarctic ice cap.
- Warmer global climates
- First raccoons appear.
- Drying of continental
interiors
- Forests give way to
grasslands
- 6 mya: Upright walking
(bipedal) hominins appear
Pliocene
Epoch (5.3 to
2.58 mya)
- 4.4 mya:
Appearance of
Ardipithecus, an early
hominin genus.
- 4 mya: North and South
America join at the Isthmus
of Panama.
Animals and plants cross
the new land bridge.
Ocean currents change
in the newly isolated Atlantic
Ocean.
- 3.9 mya: Appearance of
Australopithecus, genus of
hominids.
- 3.7 mya:
Australopithecus hominids
inhabit Eastern and Northern
Africa.
- 3 mya: Formation of
Arctic ice cap.
- Accumulation of ice at
the poles

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- Climate became cooler


and drier.
- Spread of grasslands and
savannas
- Rise of long-legged
grazing animals
Quaternary Period (2.58
mya to today)
Pleistocene
Epoch (2.58 mya to
11,400 yrs ago)
- Several major
episodes of global
cooling, or
glaciations
- 2.4 mya: Homo
habilis appeared
- 2.1 mya: Yellowstone
supervolcanic eruption
- 2 mya: Tool-making
humanoids emerge.
- 1.7 mya: Homo erectus
first moves out of Africa
- 1.3 mya: Yellowstone
supervolcanic eruption
- 1.3 mya to 820,000 yrs
ago: Sherwin Glaciation
- Presence of large land
mammals and birds
- 700,000 yrs ago: Human
and Neanderthal lineages
start to diverge genetically.
- 680,000 to 620,000 yrs
ago: Günz/Nebraskan glacial
period
- 640,000 yrs ago:
Yellowstone supervolcanic
eruption
- 530,000 yrs ago:
Development of speech in
Homo Heidelbergensis[15]
- 455,000 to 300,000 yrs
ago: Mindel/Kansan glacial
period
- 400,000 yrs ago:
Hominids hunt with wooden
spears
and use stone cutting
tools.
- 370,000 yrs ago: Human
ancestors and Neanderthals
are fully separate
populations.
- 300,000 yrs ago:
Hominids use
controlled fires
- Neanderthal man spreads
through Europe
230,000 yrs ago
- 200,000 to 130,000 yrs
ago: Riss/Illinoian glacial

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period
- 160,000 yrs ago: Homo
sapiens appeared.
Origin of human female
lineage (Mitochondrial Eve)
- 125,000 yrs ago: Eemian
stage or Riss/Würm
interglacial period.
Hardwood forests grew
above the Arctic Circle.
Melting ice sheets
increased sea level by 6
meters (20 feet)
- 110,000 yrs ago: Start of
Würm/Wisconsin glacial
period
- 105,000 yrs ago: Stone
age humans forage for grass
seeds such as sorghum.
- 80,000 yrs ago:
Non-African humans
interbreed with
Neanderthals[28]
- 74,000 yrs ago: Toba
volcanic eruption
releases large volume of
sulfur dioxide
- Homo sapiens reduced to
about 10,000 individuals.
- 70,000 yrs ago: Tahoe
glacial maximum
glaciers cover Canada
and northern US.
- 60,000 yrs
ago: Oldest male
ancestor of
modern
humans[3]
- 46,000 yrs
ago: Australia
becomes arid,
bush fires destroy
habitat, and megafauna die
off.
- 40,000 yrs ago:
Cro-Magnon man appeared
in Europe.
- 28,000 yrs ago:
Neanderthals disappear from
fossil record.[29]
- 26,500 yrs ago: Taupo
supervolcanic eruption
in New Zealand
- 22,000 yrs ago: Tioga
glacial maximum
sea level was 130
meters lower than today
- 19,000 yrs ago: Antarctic
sea ice starts melting.[22]
- 15,000 yrs ago: Bering
land bridge between Alaska

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and Siberia
allows human
migration to
America
- 12,900 yrs ago:
Explosion of comet over
Canada [23, 24, 25]
causes extinction of
American megafauna such as
the mammoth
and sabretooth cat
(Smilodon), as well as the
end of Clovis culture
- Fired pottery invented
(12,000 yrs ago)
- 11,400 yrs ago: End of
Würm/Wisconsin glacial
period.
Sea level rises by 91
meters (300 ft)
Holocene Epoch (11,400
years ago to today)
- Development of
agriculture
- Domestication of animals.
- 9,000 yrs ago: Metal
smelting started
- 5,500 yrs ago: Invention
of the wheel
- 5,000 yrs ago:
Development of
writing
- 4,500 yrs ago:
Pyramids of Giza
- 2,230 yrs ago:
Archimedes advances
mathematics
- 250 yrs ago: Start of the
Industrial Revolution
- 50 yrs ago: Space travel
Artificial satellite orbits
the earth (1957).
Humans walk on the
surface of the moon (1969).

Click
Here to
Take
a Trip
on the
Geologic
Time
Machine

The
five
major
mass
extinctions

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events
occurred
during
the
terminal
Ordovician
(443
mya),
Late
Devonian
(374
mya),
terminal
Permian
called
the
"Great
Dying"
(251
mya),
terminal
Triassic
(201),
and
terminal
Cretaceous
called
the
K/T
event
(65.5
mya).

Humans
as
agents
of
environmental
change
Some
scientists
have
tried
to
correlate
the
migration
of
humans
to
America
with
the
extinction
of
the
megafauna
of
the
Pleistocene
Epoch

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while
others
feel
that
weather
changes
brought
about
by
the
explosion
of
an
asteroid
or
comet
over
North
America
might
have
been
responsible.[25]
There
is
no
doubt
that
human
activities
can
have
a
substantial
impact
on
the
environment
and
native
species.
The
dodo,
indigenous
to
Mauritius,
became
extinct
in
the
late
17th
century
from
massive
hunting
and
the
introduction
of
animals

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such
as
dogs,
pigs,
and
cats.
The
Passenger
Pigeon
went
from
being
the
most
common
bird
in
North
America
to
extinction
by
the
end
of
the
19th
century
due
to
hunting
and
loss
of
habitat
by
deforestation.
The
Dust
Bowl
was
a
period
of
severe
dust
storms
between
1930
and
1936
caused
by
deep
plowing
of
the
top
soil
of
the

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Great
Plains
which
destroyed
native
grasses
whose
roots
had
protected
the
soil
from
erosion.
Soils
that
had
been
fertile
became
incapable
of
sustaining
crops
after
the
top
soil
was
blown
away.
The
collapse
of
Cannery
Row
was
brought
about
by
overfishing
the
costal
waters
of
California.
Production
dropped
from
235,000
tons
of
fish
in
1945
to
only
15,000
tons
of
fish

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by
1948.

The
Earth's
near-term
future
Human
industrial
activity
that
relies
on
burning
fossil
fuels,
such
as
coal
and
petroleum
products,
has
been
generating
the
greenhouse
gases
carbon
dioxide
(CO2),
methane
(CH4),
and
nitrous
oxide
(N2O),
in
large
quantities
since
about
1750.
The
chart
below
shows
the
levels
of
atmospheric
carbon
dioxide
during
the
last
millennium
and
its
sharp
rise

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during
the
last
century.[2]
Atmospheric
models
predict
that
elevated
greenhouse
gases
will
cause
global
warming
and
influence
weather
patterns
that
will
melt
polar
ice
and
destroy
the
habitat
of
animals
such
as
the
polar
bear.
The
increase
of
global
temperatures
will
also
reduce
the
amount
of
snow
deposited
on
mountains
thus
decreasing
the
flow
of
water
in
rivers
which
are
now

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used
for
navigation,
irrigation,
and
as
sources
of
potable
water.
Carbon
dioxide
will
also
increase
the
acidity
of
sea
water
and
threaten
coral
reefs
and
shell-
building
oceanic
life
forms.

Today,
the
concentration
of
atmospheric
carbon
dioxide
is
380
parts
per
million
(ppm)

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and
the
North
Pole's
mean
annual
temperature
is
-20°C.
Analysis
of
core
sediments
in
the
Arctic
Circle
indicate
that
55
million
years
ago,
the
carbon
dioxide
concentration
was
2,000
ppm
and
the
North
Pole's
temperature
averaged
23°C
(73.4°F).[4]
Satellite
images
by
NASA
show
approximately
a
20%
reduction
in
the
Earth's
minimum
ice
cover
between
1979
and
2003.[5]
Arctic
perennial
sea
ice

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has
been
decreasing
at
a
rate
of
9%
every
ten
years.
At
this
rate,
the
summertime
Arctic
Ocean
will
be
ice-free
before
the
year
2100.

There
is
a
large
amount
of
water
stored
as
ice
over
the
landmasses
of
Greenland
and
Antarctica.
If
the
ice
sheets
melt,
the
resulting
rise
in
global

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sea
level
will
flood
many
coastal
areas
around
the
world.
The
Greenland
ice
sheet
contains
enough
water
to
increase
the
global
sea
level
by
24
feet
(7.3
meters),
the
West
Antarctic
ice
sheet
could
raise
sea
level
by
19
feet
(5.8
meters),
and
the
East
Antarctic
ice
sheet
could
raise
the
sea
level
globally
by
170
feet
(51.8
meters).[12]
The
combined

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effect
of
melting
all
the
ice
on
Greenland
and
Antarctica
would
result
in
a
sea
level
rise
of
213
feet
(65
meters).

Using
computer
models,
scientists
at
the
University
of
Arizona
Department
of
Geosciences
have
created
maps
that
show
areas
susceptible
to
rises
in
sea
level
(in
red).
The
following
map
shows
that
a
6-meter
(20-foot)
rise
would
flood
Miami,

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Fort
Lauderdale,
Tampa,
and
the
entire
Florida
coastline,
as
well
as
parts
of
Orlando
and
other
inland
areas.
Most
of
the
city
of
New
Orleans,
Louisiana
will
disappear
under
water
if
the
sea
rises
six
meters.
Some
scientists
have
warned
that
by
the
year
2200,
at
the
current
rate
of
greenhouse
gas
emissions
from
human
activities,
the
atmospheric
levels
of
carbon

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dioxide,
methane,
and
nitrous
oxide
will
be
at
the
same
levels
associated
with
mass-extinction
events
in
the
Earth's
past.[8]

Larger Image of Flooding animation of New


Florida[6] Orleans [7]

The
Earth's
long-term
future
The
future
of
the
Earth
is
linked
to
the
fate
of
the
Sun.
The
Sun
is
halfway
through
its
life
cycle

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and
will
exhaust
its
supply
of
hydrogen
fuel
in
around
4,000
million
years.
As
the
Sun
cools,
its
core
will
collapse
and
its
atmosphere
will
expand
transforming
the
Sun
into
a
red
giant
star.
The
swelling
Sun
will
engulf
the
planets
closest
to
it,
and
the
Earth
will
be
completely
vaporized.
The
Sun
will
die
in
several
stages.
When
its
core

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crashes
inwards,
it
will
start
fusing
helium
atoms
into
carbon.
When
the
helium
supply
runs
out,
the
center
will
collapse
again
and
form
a
white
dwarf
star
that
will
become
dimmer
until
its
light
finally
fades.
The
final
collapse
of
stars
which
are
a
few
times
larger
than
the
Sun
ends
in
a
massive
supernova
explosion
that
leaves
behind
a
rapidly

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spinning
neutron
star.

Long
before
the
Sun
becomes
a
white
dwarf,
2,000
million
years
from
now,
our
Milky
Way
Galaxy
is
predicted
to
collide
with
the
Andromeda
Galaxy.[13]
The
collision
will
take
place
for
several
million
years
and
result
in
one
combined
super
galaxy
named
Milkomeda.
The
sun
may
become
part
of
the
Andromeda
system
during
the
collision
and
could

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eventually
end
up
far
away
from
the
new
merged
galactic
center.
The
Earth
may
also
eventually
lose
its
Moon.
Scientists
using
the
laser
ranging
retroreflector
positioned
on
the
Moon
in
1969
by
the
Apollo
11
astronauts
have
determined
that
the
Moon
is
receding
from
Earth
at
a
rate
of
about
3.8
centimeters
per
year.

(my =
millions
of
years)
Earth's

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Long-Term
Future
* ******
* ******
* ******
* ******
* ******
* *
+200 years:
Possible
global
warming
event caused
by
anthropogenic
carbon
dioxide
(CO2)[8]
+1500 my:
Sun is about
6000 million
years old and
15% brighter
than today.
+2000 my:
Milky Way
Galaxy starts
colliding with
Andromeda
Galaxy.[13]
+3000 my:
Solar system
becomes part
of the new
Milkomeda
Galaxy.
+4000 my:
Sun is about
twice as
bright as
today and its
radius is 40%
greater.
Sun
starts to
exhaust its
supply of
hydrogen.
+5000 my:
Sun starts
changing into
a red giant
star, 3 times
its present
size.[18]
Earth is
engulfed by
the red giant
Sun.
+10000 my:

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Red giant Sun


collapses and
becomes a
white dwarf.
+20000 my:
White dwarf
Sun becomes
a black dwarf.

Glossary
Aeon
-
See
Eon.

Age
-
An
age
is
a
unit
of
geological
time
shorter
than
an
epoch,
usually
lasting
several
million
years.

Archean,
Archaean
-
An
eon
of
geologic
time
extending
from
about
3800
to
2500
million
years
ago.
Derived
from
the
Greek
archaios
meaning

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"ancient".
The
Archean
eon
is
divided
into
four
eras:
Eoarchean,
Paleoarchean,
Mesoarchean,
and
Neoarchean.

Cambrian
-
The
first
period
of
the
Paleozoic
Era,
during
which
most
modern
animal
phyla
developed.
The
name
derives
from
Medieval
Latin
Cambria
"Wales".

Cenozoic,
Caenozoic,
Cainozoic
-
The
current
geologic
era,
which
began
65.5
million
years
ago
and
continues
to
the
present.
The
word

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comes
from
the
Greek
kainos
"new"
+
zoe
"life".

Cretaceous
-
A
Period
from
145
to
65.5
million
years
ago
divided
into
two
epochs:
The
Early
Cretaceous
Epoch
had
six
Ages:
Cenomanian,
Turonian,
Coniacian,
Santonian,
Campanian,
and
Maastrichtian.
The
Late
Cretaceous
Epoch
had
six
Ages:
Berriasian,
Valanginian,
Hauterivian,
Barremian,
Aptian,
and
Albian.

Eocene
Epoch
-
An
epoch
from
54.8

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to
33.7
million
years
ago
with
four
Ages:
Ypresian,
Lutetian,
Bartonian,
and
Priabonian.

Eon
-
A
primary
division
of
geologic
time
lasting
over
500
million
years,
four
of
which
have
been
defined:
Hadean,
Archean,
Proterozoic,
and
Phanerozoic.
Eons
are
divided
into
Eras,
which
are
in
turn
divided
into
Periods,
Epochs
and
Ages.

Epoch
-
A
division
of
geologic
time

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lasting
tens
of
millions
of
years.
Epochs
are
subdivisions
of
geologic
periods.

Era
-
A
division
of
geologic
time
of
several
hundred
million
years
in
duration.
An
era
is
smaller
than
an
eon
and
longer
than
a
period.

Geologic
Time
Scale
-
A
categorization
of
geological
events
based
on
successively
smaller
time
spans:
eons,
eras,
periods,
epochs,
and
ages.

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Hadean
-
The
earliest
eon
in
the
history
of
the
Earth
from
the
first
accretion
of
planetary
material
until
the
date
of
the
oldest
known
rocks.
The
name
"Hadean"
derives
from
the
Greek
Hades
"Hell".

Jurassic
-
A
Period
from
200
to
145
million
years
ago
divided
into
three
epochs:
The
Early
Jurassic
Epoch
has
four
Ages:
Hettangian,
Sinemurian,

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Pliensbachian,
and
Toarcian.
The
Middle
Jurassic
Epoch
has
four
Ages:
Aalenian,
Bajocian,
Bathonian,
and
Callovian.
The
Late
Jurassic
Epoch
has
three
Ages:
Oxfordian,
Kimmeridgian,
and
Tithonian.

Mesoproterozoic
-
an
era
with
three
periods:
Calymmian,
Ectasian,
and
Stenian.

Mesozoic
-
An
era
of
time
during
the
Phanerozoic
eon
lasting
from
251
million
years
ago
to
65.5
million
ago.
Derived
from

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the
Greek
mesos
"middle"
+
zoe
"life".

Miocene
Epoch
-
An
epoch
from
23.03
to
5.3
million
years
ago
with
six
Ages:
Aquitanian,
Burgidalian,
Langhian,
Serravalian,
Tortonian,
and
Messinaian.

Neogene
-
A
period
from
23.03
to
today.
This
is
the
new
name
given
to
the
time
starting
from
the
Miocene
Epoch
to
today.

Neoproterozoic
-
an
era
with

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three
periods:
Tonian,
Cryogenian,
and
Ediacaran.

Oligocene
Epoch
-
An
epoch
from
33.7
to
23.03
million
years
ago
with
two
Ages:
Rupelian
and
Chattian.

Paleocene,
Palaeocene
Epoch
-
An
epoch
from
65.5
to
54.8
million
years
ago
with
three
Ages:
Danian,
Selandian,
and
Thanetian.

Paleogene
-
A
period
from
65.5
to
23.03
million
years
ago.
This
is
the

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new
name
given
to
the
first
portion
of
the
Tertiary
Period.

Paleoproterozoic
-
an
era
with
four
periods:
Siderian,
Rhyacian,
Orosirian,
and
Statherian.

Paleozoic,
Palaeozoic
-
An
era
of
geologic
time
lasting
from
542
to
248
million
years
ago.
Derived
from
the
Greek
palai
"long
ago,
far
back"
+
zoe
"life".

Period
-
A
division
of
geologic
time

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lasting
tens
of
millions
of
years
which
shorter
than
an
era
and
longer
than
an
epoch.

Phanerozoic
-
The
most
recent
eon
of
geologic
time
beginning
542
million
years
ago
and
continuing
to
the
present.
Derived
from
the
Greek
phaneros
"visible"
+
zoe
"life".

Pliocene
Epoch
-
An
epoch
from
5.3
to
2.58
million
years
ago
with
two
Ages:

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Zanclean
and
Piacenzian.

Precambrian
-
Geologic
time
from
the
beginning
of
the
earth
to
the
beginning
of
the
Cambrian
Period
of
the
Paleozoic
Era.

Proterozoic
-
The
geologic
eon
lying
between
the
Archean
and
Phanerozoic
eons,
beginning
about
2500
and
ending
542
million
years
ago.
Derived
from
the
Greek
proteros
"earlier"
+
zoe
"life".
The
Proterozoic
eon
is
divided

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into
the
Paleoproterozoic
era,
Mesoproterozoic
era,
and
Neoproterozoic
era.

Quaternary
-
An
informal
sub-era
from
2.58
or
1.8
mya
to
today.
The
Quaternary
is
traditionally
associated
with
the
Holocene
and
Pleistocene,
but
an
alternative
definition
sets
its
start
during
the
cycle
of
glacials
and
interglacials
around
2.6
mya.

Stage
-
A
succession
of
rock
strata
laid
down
in
a

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single
age
on
the
geologic
timescale.

Tertiary
-
An
informal
sub-era
from
65.5
to
2.58
or
1.8
million
years
ago,
depending
on
how
the
Quaternary
is
defined.
The
Tertiary
overlaps
with
the
Neogene
Period
and
is
divided
into
five
epochs:
Paleocene,
Eocene,
Oligocene,
Miocene,
and
Pliocene.

Triassic
-
A
Period
from
251
to
200
million
years
ago
divided
into

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three
epochs:
The
Early
Triassic
Epoch
has
two
Ages:
Induan
and
Olenekian.
The
Middle
Triassic
Epoch
has
two
Ages:
Anisian
and
Ladinian.
The
Late
Triassic
Epoch
has
three
Ages:
Carnian,
Norian,
and
Rhaetian.

References

1. Christopher
R.
Scotese,
1994,
Continental
Drift,
Edition
6,
Paleomap
Project,
University
of
Texas
at
Arlington.
2. Intergovernmental
Panel
on
Climate
Change
(IPCC)
report,
Climate

48 of 59 25/03/2011 08:12
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Change
2001:
The
Scientific
Basis.
3. Atlas
of
the
Human
Journey
-
The
Genographic
Project
4. Scientific
American,
Vol.
295,
No.
2,
August
2006,
p.
30.
5. NASA,
Recent
Warming
of
Arctic
may
Affect
Worldwide
Climate,
October
23,
2003.
6. Overpeck,
J.T.,
B.L.
Otto-Bliesner,
G.H.
Miller,
D.R.
Muhs,
R.B.
Alley,
and
J.T.
Kiehl.
2006.
Paleoclimatic
evidence
for
future
ice-sheet
instability
and
rapid
sea-level
rise.
Science

49 of 59 25/03/2011 08:12
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311:
1747-1750.
7. NASA,
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Copyright
2006-2008
-
Antonio
Zamora

Frequent
misspellings
of
geologic
terms:
creataceous,
cretaceus,
cretacous,
jurassique,
jurasik,
jurasic,
jurossic,

58 of 59 25/03/2011 08:12
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myscene,
myocene,
myoscene,
phanaerozoic,
triasic

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