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Shorter Days for All of Us?

Maybe this isn’t really a local enough topic for PDD, but given the earlier post on whether we’re vulnerable here to earthquakes, a Yahoo news story today seems interesting and relevant. The Chile quake apparently may have shifted earth’s axis, and made earth days slightly shorter. And this has happened before with big quakes, too.

Reminds me, too, of a Harper’s article from 2000 about dam building. There’s a quotation in that article that says: “The planet accommodates 40,000 large dams–dams more than four stories high–and some 800,000 small ones. They have shifted so much weight that geophysicists believe they have slightly altered the speed of the earth’s rotation, the tilt of its axis, and the shape of its gravitational field. Together they blot out a terrain bigger than California.”

So, any thoughts–think we’re headed towards shorter Perfect Duluth Days due to earthquakes and dam building?

4 Comments

Terry G.

about 9 years ago

I dunno, the earth spins so fast at this northerly latitude that we might benefit from it slowing down.

mevdev

about 9 years ago

Sounds like this happens whenever there is a big earthquake

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-01/chilean-quake-likely-shifted-earth-s-axis-nasa-scientist-says.html

edgeways

about 9 years ago

Just balances out the need for leap seconds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second

jake

about 9 years ago

It's a theoretical change.  The ammount that it got shorter is so small they can't even measure it.  I believe it was one millionth of a second.  So in 8.64 e10 years we'll need a leap day.  My math may be a little off.

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