Earth’s Axis Shifted Because of Climate Change

Recent studies and satellite data has shown that the Earth’s axis is moving faster, due to climate change and global warming. The axis of our planet is a straight line that goes through the poles. It is not in a fixed position but normally moves slowly due to movements inside the Earth. Scientists do not completely understand how this happens.

New information now shows that the movements of the poles are going on much faster than in previous decades, mainly because of the melting of glaciers and large ice masses. This has led to more water on the surface, which pulls at the poles. The North Pole, for example, is moving slowly towards Russia. Since 1980 the poles have wandered about 4 meters.

In addition, farming has led to more and more groundwater around the world being pumped up from below. This water ends up in rivers and finally in oceans, also contributing to a change in the weight of ocean water.

Scientists say that the change in the Earth’s poles is not enough to affect our daily life, but may lead to a change in the length of daytime by a few milliseconds.

Earth’s axis runs through the poles
Silver Spoon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Words

  • affect = change
  • contributing = leading to , making something happen
  • data = information
  • decade = a period of ten years
  • due to = because of
  • glacier = large mass of ice that moves down a mountain valley
  • in addition = also
  • previous =earlier
  • scientist = a person who is trained in science
  • surface = here: the top part of the Earth
  • wander = move
  • weight = how heavy something is