Ming the Mechanic:
Earth changes its spin

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Earth changes its spin2004-01-01 16:06
picture by Flemming Funch

Apparently the Earth has unexpectedly speeded up a bit. Since 1955 when the atomic clock was invented, and time therefore could be measured more precisely, it became clear that each year doesn't have exactly the same length. Thus, in 1972 an extra "leap second" was added to each year, in order to make things fit. Because, presumably, the earth is slowly rotating slower and slower. It is just that, in the last five years, the earth is no longer rotating as slow as it was then, so the leap seconds don't seem to be needed. In other words, the earth speeded up a little bit, contrary to expecation. I'm glad she has a mind of her own.

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5 Jan 2004 @ 14:00 by taranga @ : earth spin
just a passing thought -
when a plane takes of it chucks loads of shit out the back to get moving - when it lands it partially slows through the use of its brakes - now if more planes in the world land from a westerly direction than an easterly one this should slightly speed up the earth.

Or could it be the loss of gases such as helium resulting in a lower mass so the whole globe has to speed up to conserve rotational energy

or could the earth's crust have shrunk to a slightly smaller size round the equator as so much weight has been removed from the ice caps due to gobal warming so ditto above.  

5 Jan 2004 @ 14:49 by ming : Spin
Well, if I were a little more on top of my math and physics, one could sit down and calculate what effects those have. Like, how much energy needs to be moved to influence the momentum of the earth? I don't know. I get to think about a very informal experiments where one million school kids in England jumped up and down at the same designated time, and it registered like a small earthquake, 2.8 or something on the richter scale.  

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