By J.C. Bruce
Scientists have discovered a dizzying new consequence of global warming: It’s is causing the Earth’s axis to shift.
Our planet historically has had an unusually stable rotation thanks to the influence of the Moon’s gravitational pull steadying our rotation. Other planets (Mars, for instance) wobble all over the place.
Still, other factors influence the axis around which our world turns, and one factor is the weight of water on and near the planet’s surface.
Turns out, the melting of ice caps because of climate change is changing the balance of the planet, if you will. The other: Use of groundwater for irrigation also is impacting the distribution of water weight around the globe.
The seasons we experience are caused because the Earth’s axis is on an angle to its orbital plane around the Sun. A change in that axis will impact our seasons.
So, yeah, mankind is not just changing the climate, we’re changing the very rotation of the planet.
We need to remember the Earth is a spaceship, and we live on it’s surface protected from the horrors of outer space by two things: A thin layer of air held in place by gravity and a magnetic field — generated by the planet’s spinning iron core — that shields us from solar radiation.
Our planet is huge compared to its puny human inhabitants. And the idea that people could alter the physics of the Earth significantly enough to render it uninhabitable was unheard of until recently. So, I suppose, it’s understandable that some of our fellow homo sapiens still have a hard time getting their heads around the idea.
But facts are facts, inconvenient or not.
You wouldn’t dismantle the hull of your ship while at sea. So why do we think we can get away with altering the fundamentals of what makes our planet a safe place to live?