Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Pangea Proxima

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Pangea Proxima - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Pangaea Proxima (also called Pangaea Ultima, Neopangaea, and Pangaea II) is a possible future supercontinent configuration. Consistent with the supercontinent cycle, Pangaea Proxima could occur within the next 300 million years. This potential configuration, hypothesized by Christopher Scotese, earned its name from its similarity to the previous Pangaea supercontinent. Scotese later changed Pangaea Ultima (Last Pangaea) to Pangaea Proxima (Next Pangaea) to alleviate confusion about the name Pangaea Ultima which could imply that it would be the last supercontinent.The concept was based on examination of past cycles of formation and breakup of supercontinents, not on current understanding of the mechanisms of tectonic change, which are too imprecise to project that far into the future. “It’s all pretty much fantasy to start with,” Scotese has said. “But it’s a fun exercise to think about what might happen. And you can only do it if you have a really clear idea of why things happen in the first place.”

Supercontinents describe the merger of all, or nearly all, of the Earth’s landmass into a single contiguous continent. In the Pangaea Proxima scenario, subduction at the western Atlantic, east of the Americas, leads to the subduction of the Atlantic mid-ocean ridge followed by subduction destroying the Atlantic and Indian basin, causing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans to close, bringing the Americas back together with Africa and Europe. As with most supercontinents, the interior of Pangaea Proxima would probably become a semi-arid desert prone to extreme temperatures.

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