Earth’s Axis :
As the world is still fighting the pandemic, scientists have revealed a strange phenomenon that may be the first-of-its-kind recorded since the beginning of modern civilization.
A shift in the earth’s axis caused by a single species – human-propelled climate change.
Our planet is now starting to witness the most undesirable changes. California fires, Wildfires in Siberia, Bushfires in Australia, Amazon forest fire, Deadly Dorian, all these within a couple of years. The intensity of these devastating disasters was equal to the effect of natural disasters of a decade combined.
Unchecked human activities and exploitation of natural resources at an unparalleled scale increasing the surface temperatures and heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere are the main causes of climate change.
The study of polar motion began in 1981 and the researchers found the first polar drift in 1990.
According to Agu.org, the evidence of the 1990’s axis shift revealed that it was caused due to the changes in terrestrial water shortage, this discovery revealed the connection between the climate and the polar movement.
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What caused the recent drift of the earth’s axis?
Image credit: Victor C. Tsai
Shifts in the geographic location of Earth’s North and South poles is called polar drift, or true polar wander. This illustration shows the change in position of the magnetic north pole.
The result of the recent shift in Earth’s Axis was published in Agu’s Geographical Research Letters.
This new research revealed the tilt of the Earth’s axis was due to the shift of water mass caused by human-induced climate change.
The study of the shift in Earth’s axis was conducted by researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, using the data gathered from the GRACE mission.
GRACE was launched by NASA in 2002 to measure the distribution of landmass on Earth by surveying uneven gravitational changes at different points.
Earth’s axis shift was caused by the rapid melting of glaciers all around the world and changes in terrestrial water shortage including depletion in the groundwater level.
“The faster ice melting under global warming was the most likely cause of the directional change of the polar drift in the 1900s,” Shanshan Deng, lead author of the study stated in a report.
The researchers stated that the immense loss of ice sheets on land is releasing billions and billions of tons of water into the ocean.
The massive displacement of mass made the earth’s axis drift tilting the north pole eastwards.
Vincent Humphrey, climate scientists at the University of Zurich who wasn’t involved in the study stated that our planet is like a top, and if the weight of a top is moved around, the spinning top would start to lean and wobble as its rotational axis changes and the same thing happened to the earth.
As the global temperatures increase the earth’s axis average drift speed has also increased about 17 times.
Deng stated that this drift of the earth’s axis isn’t big for the species on the planet to worry about as it has moved only a few inches.
However, if we do not curb the rising global temperatures, we definitely will have to be ready to face the devastating consequences.