As the World Turns Differently
You think your days are already long? Just you wait: Scientists in Belgium have determined that days may become even longer as global warming occurs. In a study published in this month’s Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists, who hail from Belgium’s Royal Observatory and the Catholic University of Louvain, said that increasing levels of carbon dioxide both warm the atmosphere and slow the Earth’s rotation. Using computer models based on a 1 percent annual increase in CO2 levels, they determined that changes in the ocean and the atmosphere in a warmer world would affect the planet’s angular momentum. But don’t schedule a longer lunch break just yet; the changes are on the order of 11 microseconds per decade, or 11 hundred-thousandths of a second over the century.
Get Grist in your inbox