Gallery: Global Warming Could Actually Tilt the Earth’s Axis

earth, planet, global warming, climate change

Lots of things cause Earth’s spinning top-like axis to shift — earthquakes, El Nino, and even volcano eruptions. Now scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory say that global warming could actually alter the tilt of our planet’s axis due to instability from melting ice sheets! Scientists have long theorized that climate change could cause a negligible amount of movement in the axis, but NASA’s research shows that the problem could be much more severe than was initially thought. In fact, it could be as drastic as the northern pole shifting by 1.5 centimeters every year towards Hawaii and Alaska.

The shifting pole won’t speed up climate change itself, but it could potentially act as a measure of sea level rise. In other words, the more the pole shifts each year, the faster ice sheets are melting. It’s not a foolproof plan–scientists have no way of telling if a shift in the axis is because of a massive earthquake in Japan or a giant ice sheet turning into fresh water–but it is one more way to calculate the effects of global warming on the planet.

Via New Scientist


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  1. Robert Del Rosso August 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    But isn’t it arrogant to think that this little puny human race could affect the climate and the earth’s tilt?

    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would disagree with the idea that humans could affect the climate, since she thinks that is something only God can do. Gov. Palin tweeted:
    “Copenhgen=arrogance of man2think we can change nature’s ways. MUST b good stewards of God’s earth, but arrogant & naïve 2 say man overpwers nature” Twitter/@SarahPalinUSA Dec 19, 2009

    That’s interesting, considering that Gov. Palin says she believes in God. As a member of the Christian Left, I have to say that the God of the Bible did not consider it strange to think that Man could really do something significant. Read the story of the “Tower of Babel”:

    “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech…. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves”…The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” —-Genesis 11: 1-7

    Some deniers think that natural Global Warming (GW) is not made more pronounced by man-made activities, implying that “since we are not causing it, we do not have to stop doing anything that could make it worse!”

    For argument’s sake, let’s say that GW is caused by the Sun “overheating” and we are blameless.

    If Deniers were in a car with an overheating engine, making the car’s interior hot, would they raise the car’s windows since they felt the cold outside air? That’s what I did in Nov. 1995, until I was told I was wrong, since the smoke from the engine was making the interior too hot and closing the windows only made it worse. (We all could have died from Carbon Monoxide if I was not corrected!)

    For the “science-challenged” set, the above overheating engine is analogous to the Sun allegedly “overheating” and causing Global Warming. We put more CO2 in the air each year ( the concentration increases 2 or 3 Parts Per Million (PPM) each year (from 280 PPM in 1780 to 397.23 PPM in 2013). (Atmospheric CO2 for July 2013 (up from 394.30 PPM in July 2012)
    Preliminary monthly average as of August 5, 2013

    (Mauna Loa Observatory: NOAA-ESRL on )

    That is like me raising the car’s windows, thus trapping the heat and CO in the car.

    This is something that even Rush Limbaugh (the Dean of Deniers) and Sen. James Inhofe (REP-Oklahoma) could understand.

    Sinclair Lewis said: “A person cannot understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.”

    To paraphrase Lewis: “some Congressmen and Senators cannot “understand” Climate Change or Global Warming since their campaign contributions (like those of Sen. James Inhofe (REP-Oklahoma) —from the oil industry) depend on them NOT understanding it.
    We really need campaign finance reform to get Congress out of the pocket of the fossil fuel industry.

    BTW, regarding those comments from about how the term was supposedly “changed” from Global Warming to Climate Change: An April 1989 Scientific American artilce was entitled “Global Climatic Change”. The false charge about the change in terminology is just a cute way to deny reality.

  2. trim April 11, 2013 at 2:55 am

    The natural motion of the earth\\\’s axis IS the cause of global warming. Why is this concept so hard for people to understand? The earth has warmed an cooled many many times without human assistance. Figure it out people!

  3. Trim April 11, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Now I\’ve heard it all! These people have their heads firmly implanted in their bungs.

  4. normal January 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

    there are seasons of the earth as there are seasons of the year,throughout its life the earth has rotated on its axis. slowly and some times violently,there was a time when the arctic and antarctic were in line with the equator,and not caused by continental drift,its natural,stop fussing and arguing, accept and deal with the birth pangs as they arise,

  5. Hurricane March 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Gravitaional pull in space is causing the earth’s axis to tilt..There are numerouse reason’s for global warming..But the earths axis are tilting and causing global warming, and climate change..What causing axis to tilt? Like I said grazitaional pull in space. I am actually doing a research paper on this right now. There is way too much to explain; all I can say is gravitaional pull in space.

  6. christheb3 March 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    A more tlted axis would cause seasonal and climatory changes. As the axis tilts more toward the sun, it causes the poles to get more sunlight than usual. It shortens the days for us however lengthens the days at the poles. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Climate doesn’t change by itself. Someting or someone has to change it. The earth and universe for that matter is God’s creation. May HE do with it what HE pleases.We don’t know everyting because we’re not meant to know everythng.

  7. Jac August 28, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Would a more tilted axis change the seasons/weather and therefore affect climate change?

  8. Michaelllll August 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Galactic alignment, solar flairs, 2012

  9. eriklharper August 24, 2009 at 9:08 am

    what’s causing it to tilt then? smart ass…

  10. jrussell August 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    OR the tilting axis is causing climate change…

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