The Earth began to form 4.5 billion years ago and a fascinating video shows it in 4 minutes

The Earth began to form 4.5 billion years ago and a fascinating video shows it in 4 minutes

The Earth It is a rocky planet within the solar system and its atmosphere is the perfect thickness to maintain temperate temperature of the planet and so that the living beings such as humans can live in it. But the planet It was not always as it can be observed today thanks to satellites or from the International Space Station.

Australia’s Computer Artist David A. Roberts decided to shape Evolutionary history of the planet through a visualization in an amazing video that puts billions of years of planetary transitions and evolutions in Four minutes of simulation. As he told in his blog, he did it with 60 frames per second.

“It simulates the full history of an Earth-like planet in a few minutes, with the simulation updating at 60 frames per second,” Roberts said.

The early Earth was a protoplanet, red-hot and heavily eroded by asteroid impact. “As my simulation of the Earth is entirely procedurally generated, with no pre-rendered textures, the first task is to generate a map of this terrain. To calculate the height of the terrain at a given latitude and longitude, you first have to translate it into 3D Cartesian coordinates,” he explained.

Then you see the craters resulting from the asteroids that have impacted the planet. The formation of known mountains, ocean trenches and continental landforms requires a model of tectonic movement.

Roberts had been working with simulations for some time and was inspired to create his video about planetary evolution after finding the game. SimEarth from 1990 in Internet Archive.

That game had the ambitious premise of simulating Earth-like planets from their creation to the distant future. “But the game was pretty limited by the computer hardware of the time, so I decided to see if I could create something similar that harnessed the power of modern GPUs,” Roberts explained.

“In fact, I first created a mini-game that allows you to alter the terrain interactively to see how it affects the simulated climate and ecology. And later I created the visual story that runs through everything automatically, because I thought it was a little easier for people to consume.”

The simulation begins with a view of the spherical globe in its early years as a protoplanet, when it was still cooking in the juices of planet formation.

It then switches to a flattened map projection to illustrate the origins and dynamics of plate tectonics, the process by which continental plates move across Earth and similar planets. From there, a completely different color palette is introduced to reveal how water flows sculpt and erode these continents, and how atmospheric weather patterns surround the planet and influence its terrain.

Roberts built the simulation in his spare time for a few months and submitted it to the contest. Shadertoy. “The climate simulation was a particularly difficult one to approximate reasonably realistically but without requiring a supercomputer,” Roberts said.

A source of inspiration was the Monash Simple Climate Model. “Although I couldn’t use it as it is because it requires a lot of data from the real Earth (so it doesn’t work with simulated Earth-like planets), it helped convince me that it was possible to make simple but realistic approximations,” the artist told Vice.

Towards the end of Roberts’ simulation, the effects of a technologically advanced civilization become more noticeable on Earth. City lights illuminate the landscape and industrial greenhouse gas emissions begin to affect the global climate.

“I guess my goal was rather to help people see firsthand how intimately related all Earth systems are, and how changes in one influence more changes in another,” he argued. “I think education is much more effective when people can understand for themselves how all these things fit together, rather than just being told what the scientific consensus is.”

Climate change is already affecting every region of the Earth. Changes in rainfall regime, sea level rise, melting glaciers, warming oceans and more frequent and intense extreme weather events are just some of the changes already affecting millions of people, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Climate change can affect human health, ability to grow food, housing, security and jobs. Some human groups are more vulnerable to climate impacts, such as people living in small island developing countries.

Threats such as rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion have advanced to the point that entire communities have had to relocate. The number of people displaced by climate change is expected to increase in the future.


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