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Earth’s Rotational Poles are Shifting South, and We’re to Blame

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In the past decade, we’ve been hearing news of all sorts (official or not) about the Earth changing its North rotational pole. Now, NASA’s JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) researchers have found that the move actually changed its direction, and that we (ahem)… we may be the cause.

Planets, Earth included, aren’t perfect spheres – they have various shapes, mountains and valleys, and have a constant rotation around their own axis. But you already know that since kindergarden.

Now, what’s different about Earth in the past decade or so, is the changing symmetry, which makes the spin axis to start moving.

After making a mathematical model of the Earth, JPL’s Surendra Adhikari discovered that there are two causes to our planet’s recent pole change: water.

Actually, it’s no wonder, if you start thinking further. The melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets and humans pumping water across regions change the global distribution of water stored on land, and guess what that’s related to: climate change.

“The bottom line is that climate change is driving the motion of the polar axis,” Adhikari told to Gizmodo. His findings have been published in Science Advances.

Since 1899, the year scientists started monitoring Earth’s spin axis, the pole was heading toward Hudson Bay, Canada, with a speed of seven centimeters a year. This was linked to th eloss of the Laurentide ice sheet, which covered Canada and most of Northern US during the last ice age (1.8 million years ago until about 11,700 years ago).

Now, the spin axis has shifted its path, moving along the Greenwich Meridian at a speed of 14 centimeters per year. This, as Adhikari says, has been attributed to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

But ice sheets are not entirely to blame for this shift. NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellite (GRACE) uncovered clues of another factor: the storage of water on land, in particular, across Eurasia. By pumping it and by climate change, humans have caused imbalances in the water stored on the ground.

Adhikari has also discovered that the poles don’t move in a straight line, but wobble from east to west, tracing a since curve with each decade. “Here, for the first time ever, we have presented a plausible physical mechanism for this,” he said.

These findings strengthen the belief that humans have become the most powerful force of nature on Earth, and the ways that humanity is taking through its decisions will affect the entire planet in the long run. Some have even suggested we should consider ourselves in a new geologic epoch – the Anthropocene (an age of humans and machines). This proposal will be reviewed later this year by scientists.

[via gizmodo]
pictures (c) Caltech/NASA JPL

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Hmmm seems they have discovered something else that’s been happening like forever. People need to repeat the 8th grade science class. Yeah there is a wobble in the Earths axis and it appears to move to the south and then it appears to move to the north just depends on when your looking. It’s a long cycle but it happens. I’m really sorry that you think mankind has become the most powerful force on the planet, but I understand why you choose to believe it. I hate to burst your bubble but your a piss ant riding an elephant, problem is you think you are steering. You will never be able to control the climate and trying to hold the status quo is like trying to stop the sun from rising. Not going to happen. There are a great many things driving climate change, 99.9 percent of which mankind has no power to influence. What is sad is that people have lost the ability to adapt, cope and create solutions. People complain about what’s on TV and forget they can turn it off. Children are being bullied over the Internet and have lost the ability to turn it off. Computer systems are being hacked and data is not safe because we love the convienence of using a free network. Don’t connect your crap to the net if you don’t want the net to have access to your crap! The coffee is already burnt you never smelled it, wake up.

    • ‘People complain about what’s on TV and forget they can turn it off’
      sure, do like the ostrich, bury your head in the ground and ignore the evidence

      • Well since ostrich don’t really do that, I guess people can believe what ever they want. Just don’t tell me lies and insist it’s the truth. I do more to protect the environment than most advocates of climate change have ever done. You like most are listening to only one side of the equation, you hear all the negative and you believe it because you choose too. Real advocates for the environment change their lifestyle, try to give back, plant trees to sequester more carbon etc,. Most importantly they know real science, seek real facts and make decisions based upon logic and sound science. The article above takes full advantage of the ignorance of people who will believe anything as long as it’s said in the context of climate change. I’ve never said nor do I believe that climate change isn’t real. I can show you some sea shells in my back yard that are now fossils which pretty much indicate the climate was very different in the past. I can assure you man had no input when the climate started changing, nor does he have that much now. Sorry.

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