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Climate change has deviated the earth from its axis



3D portrait of methane concentration and slightly shaking earth.

3D portrait of methane concentration and slightly shaking earth.
image: NASA

Of all things attributed to climate change, The way the pole moves is definitely one of the weird. But a new study shows that this is indeed the case. It builds on previous discoveries, showing that the disappearing ice plays a major role, and that the depletion of groundwater is also the cause of the sway.

The research results were published in last month’s Geophysical Research Letter, Using satellites that track gravity to track what researchers call “polar drift.” Although we regard gravity as a constant, it is actually a moving target based on the shape of a planet. Although earthquakes and other geophysical activities can certainly play a role by pushing land, water is the biggest cause of change. The satellites used in the research are called GRACE and GRACE-FO, and have been calibrated to measure the earth’s moving mass.

They have previously detected changes in gravity and Ice that disappeared in Antarctica with Drought that causes groundwater depletion In the mid-2010s in California. The data can also reveal how these changes in gravity affect the poles in turn.

Polar drift is a natural occurrence. The axis of the earth is moving slowly, but has accelerated noticeably in recent decades. The current moving speed of telephone poles is nearly 17 times that of 1981, which is quite an astonishing acceleration.However, it’s more noteworthy that the rod actually started at new The direction was suddenly fleeting in 2000.

previous studies The same satellite data was used to observe the acceleration and shifting of gears and attribute them to ice loss in Greenland and western Antarctica and groundwater pumping. This new study extends the record to the 1990s and explores some annual fluctuations in more detail. The results of the study indicate that changes in groundwater use in certain areas are the source of some of these differences.

“Using GRACE data (period 2002-2015), we proved that such interannual signals (as pointed out by these authors: kink in 2005 and 2012) can be explained by land storage,” NASA Jet scientist Surendra Adhikari The advancement laboratory responsible for the 2016 study said in an email. “The new paper further illustrates this point. It also shows that another twist in the polar motion data (in 1995) can also be explained by changes in total water storage, especially the accelerated loss of ice in Greenland and the water in the reservoir. The beginning of consumption. The Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

He added: “In general, this paper (and our previous work) reveals the close connection between climate variability and how the earth swings.” He pointed out that this new study is a “well done paper. “.

In this case, considering other obvious and current hazards, such as intense heat waves, ocean acidification and the sixth extinction, climate change triggering extreme movements is not too worrying.Same as above for groundwater depletion, it may be Affect the lives of billions of people. But this is a powerful reminder of how many people have reshaped the earth, and why we should have cut it down if we don’t want our world to be turned upside down.

Correction, April 23, 21, 6:30 pm: This post has been updated to reflect the revolving poles are those in Movement and research of issues.


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