The earth has existed for 4.5 billion years and has survived numerous setbacks along the way. What will the earth be like in 500 years? 5000 years? 5,000,000 years?
In this lesson, you will explore the web to find out what processes have shaped the earth, and how these processes might affect its future. You will then write an essay responding to the following.
Question for Exploration: What will the earth be like in 5,000,000 years?
In order to formulate an answer to this question, you’ll need to conduct some research to gather pertinent information. Some areas for research are listed below, but you may find that you need to answer additional questions to make an informed response.
- What processes have led to the current arrangement of the continents?
- What processes have led to the current topography of the continents?
- What processes have led to the earth’s current climate?
- What processes have shaped the diversity and quantity of life on our planet?
- Are there predicted future trends for the processes outlined above?
- Are there additional processes or forces that might act to shape the earth’s future?
- Are there single events, in addition to processes, that could alter the earth’s future?
Use the provided list of web sites to help jump-start your search. If you need to gather information from additional resources, be sure to evaluate their validity. Government and university sites generally have more reliable information than personal or commercial sites. Keep a record of the information you’ve collected, as well as the source of that material. Include both the web site name and URL address. You will turn in this information, along with your essay.
Synthesize the information that you’ve collected to develop a written response to the Question for Exploration. How might all of these processes and events interact to determine what the earth would be like 5,000,000 years from now? Obviously, none of us can see into the future, but your response should reflect a set of logical consequences for current geological trends and processes