The North Pole is Not Only Melting, It’s Moving...

12  April 2016

 

The North Pole is Not Only Melting, It’s Moving

Aquifers are drained or draining, the distribution of mass is changing so rapidly that we are spinning off kilter. The spin axis works like a long needle threaded through a golf ball: the point at which it enters and comes out the other side are the North and South poles respectively.

But tilt that needle and everything moves as it does – and always has – a degree shift of 23 degrees. Now imagine if something has taken the needle out and repositioned it so that the entry point was somewhere over Iceland and the exit point somewhere near the Pacific Ocean, or wherever it might come out. The spin axis will not work as it has always done.

In 2002 the Larsen Ice Shelf – a 200 km long and wide glacier – simply disappeared. As it melted, along with many other smaller glaciers, the world’s mass changed. The Northern Pole is heading towards the east at the present time. And three guesses where the blame lies? Climate change studies have been taking place for decades but the quest to find the exact position of the geographic North and South Pole has been an ongoing task by scientists since 1899.

During that century or more the poles often moved, but only by a matter of a few centimetres here and there every year. In more recent times the north and south poles are moving at a rate of about 10 centimetres every year. The direction of movement is towards the Prime Meridian (that’s the line where the Greenwich Mean Time line of longitude is placed).

The thing is, when ice starts to melt in one part of the planet (like the Larsson Shelf) then other parts of the globe keep the ice, it will make the Earth mass redistributed out of control.

Think of something like a swimming pool with its winter cover on, on one end a large sheet of ice has formed but at the other end it has melted and turned to water. This action will unbalance the swimming pool tarp completely. The planet will act is a similar way. Indeed, the planet can actually shift on its axis if the distribution of ice and water is too pronounced.

Unfortunately the science behind all this mass distribution is too complex and baffling for scientists to calculate and predict.