We live in the “Goldilocks Zone” a location of the solar system, where it’s not too hot that all the water evaporates and also not too cold where it freezes solid. The thing is that, unless you are an astronaut that is, that big spherical rock will be your home for your whole existence. But what if that place suddenly changed? What will happen if Earth doubled in size?
Let’s assume the density remains constant, so the mass of the Earth increased as well … How would that alter the life as we know it?
Well, first off, gravity would be very different. The Earth would have eight times as much mass and gravity would be twice as powerful. So, if you stepped on a scale you suddenly way twice as much as before. It would be much harder for you to walk and you will get tired much more easily, after all you’d feel like you were giving another version of yourself a piggyback ride without an end. Over the years human bones, especially in the legs, would need to become stronger to hold this increased weight.
Meanwhile, trees would start to collapse and any new ones that grow in their place might not grow as tall. There is a limit for how tall a tree can grow, usually it is around 400 ft ( 120 m ). This limit is decided by gravity, since the taller the tree is the more energy is required to get water and minerals from the roots to the top. If the amount of energy the tree gains from photosynthesis is more than the energy it takes to transport the water, it’ll keep growing. So, if the Earth suddenly got twice as big trees like the Sequoia ( known mostly by its common name the Redwood tree ) may not be so impressive.
Even though the gravitational pull of the Earth will be more powerful, it still won’t be enough to tear the Moon apart. See, in order for that to happen our natural satellite would have to be within the “Roche limit”. This is the minimum distance our moon can approach the Earth, without being torn to shreds by tidal forces. This happens, because the near side of the Moon is pulled in harder than the far side. If it get’s near enough the gravity keeping it together is gonna be overpowered by this cosmic tug, inside that limit Earth’s gravity will tear it apart, giving us a ring like those around Saturn.
The thing is that, if the Earth doubled in size the more it will heat up.
If there are more unstable elements in the crust and interior, more heat will reach the surface and there might be much more volcanic activity. And we don’t know about you, but we’d rather not live in a world where there’s an endless threat of an exploding volcano … oh wait … are we already living in that – yeah we are looking at you Yellowstone.
Anyway, the consequences of that significant change, in time, will definitely alter our lives in a degree of not recognizing the life as we know it.
The above post was made from the following materials: