Over the past century or so, the north pole, the invisible point on which our planet rotates, has been moving from east to west by a few centimeters a year. In 2000, it suddenly made a dramatic change in its behavior. It mysteriously started to chart a vigorous new course towards Europe at about 10 centimeters a year, almost twice its previous speed.
NASA scientists have now figured out why. Apparently, we are once again to blame. Man-made climate change and increasing global temperatures are melting the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets and drying out water reservoirs, particularly near the equator. Booming populations, especially in India and around the Caspian Sea, is not helping as human populations rapidly pull out groundwater from reservoirs and wells.
These massive shifts in surface mass are causing the Earth to wobble differently on its axis.
How does this affect us?
No need to worry… yet. The shift is not going to cause our planet to spin out of control. This finding, though, is helping scientists understand climate change better. It might also help remind us that our actions–or lack of them–are seriously affecting our planet.
Shouldn’t we stop being complacent and start acting on climate change before it’s too late?
What are you doing to help address climate change? Share them with us in the comments!