How Does A Planet Die?

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Hey there and welcome to Life Noggin. In the life of a planet, there are /many/ things that could go wrong. Two planets could collide with one another, it could be struck by a damaging asteroid, and eventually, its host star will die. But there’s also some other ways that a planet could basically shut down and take a turn for the worse. And to see how, all we have to do is examine our own planet and our red neighbor, Mars. Let’s start over there! Before we get into the terrifying idea of planetary death, and believe me, you'll want to stick around for it, I want to take a moment to thank our sponsor Best Fiends Forever, which is the second game in the Best Fiends trilogy. Not only did they help make this video possible, but I think the game is crazy fun. In it, you can slap some nasty slugs, collect some coins, and level up while trying to get as fast and far as you can! The new Ice Queen event is happening on February 3rd, and you can unlock rare rewards that will only be available for two weeks! Download the game for free, and get going! Ok, let’s get back to destroying planets. Nowadays, Mars is a cold, dry, and dusty planet with temperatures averaging around -63 degrees Celsius.

But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, billions of years ago, it’s thought that Mars had rivers and lakes and potentially even oceans. It was warmer back then too and had a much thicker atmosphere than it has today. But what caused that change? Well, for that we can blame the Sun, specifically, its solar winds and solar storms, like coronal mass ejections. See, more than 3.5 billion years ago, when Mars lost its magnetic field and the Sun was more active, the solar wind and storms stripped it of its atmosphere, and now, it’s remaining atmosphere is just a measly 1% of Earth’s. A recent study by NASA found that solar wind alone causes around 100 grams of gas to be lost to space every second. So, if you’re looking for your next interplanetary travel destination, you might want to choose somewhere else instead — especially since the Earth’s future isn’t looking too great right now. And for that, we have global warming to blame.

By now, you all probably know that the average global temperature has increased by about 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880. And the main cause of this is the human addition of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The increasing temperatures have led to ice melting worldwide, especially the Arctic sea ice, which is home to animals like walruses and polar bears. They use the sea ice for hunting and traveling and any changes to it can dramatically affect their lives. Also, as the climate warms, hurricanes will continue to get stronger and more intense, sea levels will rise potentially over one meter by 2100, and ocean acidification will have devastating effects on marine life. But on top of all that, a major ocean current may be in serious danger. A recent study found that, if atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were to double in the future, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation will weaken and eventually collapse after 300 years.

Without this large oceanic conveyor belt, the northern Atlantic and Arctic will get cooler, areas south of the equator will get warmer, precipitation patterns will change, and there will be a greater reduction in Antarctic sea ice. The Earth is looking less and less appealing the more I go on, isn’t it? That’s why it’s so important to start taking care of it now so that some of this stuff can be prevented. The very least we can do is try to keep this planet in as best shape as possible until the Sun eventually turns into a red giant, incinerating the inner planets and turning Earth from a watery wonderland into a scorched wasteland. And even though this won’t happen for several billion years, life on Earth won’t be possible after only one billion more as the Sun’s increasing luminosity boils all the water away. I’m just the bearer of bad news today, aren’t I? Well, on the plus side, until that happens, we have the Internet — and I definitely couldn’t live without that.

Let me know what we should talk about next in the comments section below. In case you guys haven’t heard, Life Noggin has relaunched a channel called Play Noggin. It’s all about exploring the science of your favorite video games, so if you love Life Noggin and want to learn even more, check it out. Make sure you come back every Monday for a brand new video. As always, I’m Blocko and this has been Life Noggin. Don’t forget to keep on thinking!.

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