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Alfred Lothar Wegener (1880-1930), the German meteorologist and geophysicist who proposed the theory of continental drift. Unable to reconcile palaeoclimatic evidence with the present position of the continents, he suggested in 1912 that there had originally been a single 'supercontinent', which he termed Pangaea. He then provided a number of arguments to support his theory that Pangaea had broken up about 200 million years ago, and that continental drift had subsequently led to the arrangement of continents seen today. His ideas initially met with hostility, but geomagnetic and oceanographic evidence has since established plate tectonics as a major tenet of modern geophysics.
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