Why Some Believe The World Will End In Fire

While the most likely theory for the fate of the universe is rather chilly, the fate of our own planet might just be the opposite. The "Big Freeze" is the idea that heat will eventually disperse evenly throughout the universe as it drifts further and further apart until everything reaches absolute zero and the universe is filled with chunks of ice floating in darkness. But in a cruel twist of irony, a lack of ice might be what kills off our own planet.

According to Truthout, ice and permafrost around the world are thawing at an alarming rate. And a negative feedback loop is reportedly accelerating the ice loss: The glaciers melt, which warms up rivers that dry out faster, making forest fires more likely and intense and hastening the melting of other glaciers. On top of that, Arctic permafrost contains methane that can be released into the atmosphere at alarming rates. Alaska alone sees around 75 billion tons of ice melt away every year. If the trends keep up, the world could see a series of devastating fires in the all-too-near future.

The sun's fires will destroy Earth eventually

If humans don't fry their own planet, our sun will eventually do the job for us. According to Scientific American, the sun will eventually burn out its supply of hydrogen and move on to burn its outer layers. This process will increase the sun's size and temperature. In 1.6 billion years, the oceans on Earth will boil off, and any living organisms left on the planet will be long dead. By 7 billion years, the growing sun will start to engulf our planet, which will have eroded to a desert.

The fate of the universe is one of ice, but the fate of our planet is one of fire. Nothing will survive the sun in a billion years' time, but perhaps a fiery fate might come much sooner. There is no other interpretation or political discourse to the fact that the planet's ice and permafrost are melting far faster than is comfortable. Huge forest fires have become increasingly common, and on our current trajectory, that will continue. Whether the world ends in fire in eons or decades is up to us.