Melting Day Tripper

December 11, 2015

solar-flare-tessa-hunt-woodlandAs the rains cease for a break this afternoon, there’s an occasional sliver of bright sunshine cutting through the gloom — last sometimes only for seconds, but it’s better than nothing.

In the subject-class of daylight and catching rays, climate change is spot-on again —  via today’s Guardian:

The brakes will be more sharply applied to the Earth’s rotation as glaciers melt at an ever faster rate, meaning that at least five milliseconds will be added to each day over the course of the 21st century.
The axis of the Earth will shift too, with the north pole set to move position by about 1cm (o.4in) during this century.

(Illustration: Tessa Hunt-Woodland‘s ‘Solar Flare,’ found here).

This addition of reportedly a millisecond a day during the pass 100 years comes from the earth’s glaciers — Zachariæ Isstrøm is a giant glacier in the northeast of Greenland, or maybe the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (several glaciers there have reached ‘the point of no return‘) — all melting into the oceans, sea level rise slowing earth’s rotation, adding that extra quick-dash.

Further from the Guardian:

Once the team had factored in other influences such as the tides, they found that the glacier melting of the 20th century had indeed caused the Earth to slow and wobble.
The speed of the planet’s rotation can be gauged from measurements of stars’ position in relation to Earth and also the orbit of satellites, which have to adjust slightly if the world’s rotation changes.
This slowdown is set to become more pronounced.
The global average sea level rise is now over 3mm, according to the IPCC, with the volume of the world’s glaciers set to slump by between 15 percent and 85 percent by 2100, depending on how sharply nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse mass deforestation.
A recent study found that the current retreat of the world’s glaciers was “historically unprecedented”, with scientists warning that a huge glacier in Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by half a meter has begun to crumble into the North Atlantic Ocean.
Sea level rise is also fuelled by thermal expansion, where the ocean grows as it warms up.
“The period of a day is now a millisecond longer than a century ago but that will accelerate as the melting increases,” Mitrovica said.
“People won’t be running from their houses screaming about an extra millisecond but it adds yet further confirmation of what we are doing to our environment. It’s another fingerprint.”

Yeah, the perp’s, found at the scene…

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