Monday, May 07, 2007

Global warming to change time as we know it.

Jochem Marotzke and research partners at the Max Planck Institute in Germany has published one of the most surprising effects anticipated by global warming in the March 28 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

This adds to LiveScience's Top Ten Surprising Things About Global Warming... making it a Top Eleven, I guess.
clipped from

In the next two centuries, global warming could cause the days to grow slightly shorter on Earth, a new study finds.

Another effect of warming, however, might actually lengthen the day.

As ocean water gets warmer due to climate, seawater expands thereby raising sea levels and changing the ocean’s circulation and even exerting more pressure on the ocean floor below in some areas, explained Jochem Marotzke of the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

These pressure changes won’t be uniform across the globe, because global warming will cause the ocean to warm more in some places than in others.

But over time, the differences will redistribute Earth’s ocean water, pushing it away from deep waters and onto shallower coastal shelf areas, primarily toward the North Pole.

Like the physics behind a figure skater pulling in her arms to cause a faster spin, the pressure transfer would shift the ocean’s mass toward Earth’s axis of rotation

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