Deep Politics Forum

Full Version: Einstein might have been right AGAIN, this time about climate change and the Earth's spin
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Einstein theorized before his death that climate change might be linked to the unexplained drift of the North/South Pole. His theory was that growing ice packs at the poles might affect the rotation of the planet, eventually causing the Earth's axis of rotation to shift away from the current poles and thereby leading to rapid ice loss and flooding. (See also author and theorist Graham Hancock, who believes that such events fall within the memory of ancient modern humans, i.e. the Biblical Flood.) Einstein gave up on this theory when he couldn't prove that the weight of the ice pack at the pole was sufficiently massive to cause such an effect.

Now, however, there is new NASA research:


Climate Change May Be Causing Earth's Poles To Shift
Scientists solve mystery of why the planet's axis is tilting eastward.
04/11/2016 08:45 pm ET

The position of Earth's axis has dramatically shifted, likely because of melting ice sheets (fueled by climate change) and natural changes in water storage on land, according to a new study in the journal Science Advances. Erik Ivins, senior research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-author of the study published on Friday, told The Huffington Post that the movement of water on Earth's surface affects the planet's distribution of mass and its axis much like adding weight to a spinning top.

"If you considered a spinning top, and then placed a piece of chewing gum on the top, it would start spinning around a new axis," Ivins said in an email. "On the Earth, since water can be transported in and out of the oceans to the land affecting global mean sea-levels this also changes the moments of inertia, in exact analogy to the piece of chewing gum on a spinning top." The shifting axis might add to the effects of climate change on our stressed-out planet: Global temperatures are getting hotter. Weather events are becoming more extreme. Sea levels are rising.

Earth, as many of us remember from grade school, spins on an axis. This axis is an imaginary line that stretches through the center of the planet from the North Pole to the South Pole, and is tilted at an angle of around 23.5 degrees with respect to the orbital plane that includes the sun and Earth. Scientists have long known that Earth tends to wobble as it spins, causing its poles to drift slightly. However, a dramatic shift occurred around the year 2000, when the North Pole turned east.

In an attempt to understand why, Ivins and his colleague Surendra Adhikari analyzed space geodetic and satellite gravimetric data from 2003 to 2015. This data allowed the researchers to unambiguously identify the causal mechanism for the Earth's drifting poles after 2003. The researchers wrote in their study that the Earth's spin axis has been shifting 75-degrees eastward from its normal long-term drift direction since the early 2000s. That shift, they found, is being driven not only by melting ice sheets, but also a loss of water mass in Eurasia due to the depletion of aquifers and drought, according to a NASA release.

"This is the first time we have solid evidence that changes in land water distribution on a global scale also shift which direction the axis moves to," Adhikari, lead author of the study, told New Scientist. Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona, who was not involved with the study, told The Guardian that "this highlights how real and profoundly large an impact humans are having on the planet." While the findings are surprising, Ivins said, there is no need for alarm. The shift, he said, is relatively small, and there is no real chance that the amount of solar radiation reaching sensitive parts of Earth will increase. "What the shift does tell scientists," Ivins said, "is that we have a new tool to probe past climate changes in a very quantitative and accurate way. To us, that is significant."


It is the new tool to probe past climate changes/pole locations which might vindicate Einstein (and Hancock). If the North Pole continues to move towards Europe, there could be another Ice Age there.