The Earth is Slowing Down, Scientists Find
Jennings’ Earth Science Journal
Top scientists from around the world have concluded the Earth’s rotation is slowing down and that the planet may stop completely within the next 75 years, according to a recent survey of the planet’s geomagnetic poles.
The three-month review concludes a four-year study by Dr. Lorraine Chesney of Melton University, and various partners, in which it was found the speed of rotation of Earth on its axis is declining a slight, but noticeable amount, each month.
“At the rate it is slowing,” said Dr. Chesney, “the planet could legitimately stop rotating within the next century—75 years, even.”
The situation could have wide and long-ranging ramifications for the entire planet, including perpetual seasons, drought, famine and global warming.
The cause is unknown.
The study began in September 2009 when Chesney, along with colleague Dr. James Phillips, noticed an increased level of discrepancies with self-setting clocks and the official times at the atomic clocks in Boulder, Colorado in the past four months.
“Our self-setting clocks derive the time from satellites in space,” Chesney said, “they should have been in perfect unison with the atomic clocks in Colorado.”
“The occasional discrepancy is fine, expected and easily fixed,” Phillips added, “but they were happening far too often here to be normal.”
After checking the mechanics of their clocks to make sure they were not in error—they were not—Chesney began to ponder why the errors were occurring at an increased rate.
“I had a few theories,” she said, “but the Earth slowing down was not one of them. We found that after testing the other ones.”
Problems with the atomic clocks, faulty satellites and increased cloud cover were all suggestions considered, but disproven, by the two scientists.
It was during the study of the latter idea, increased cloud cover, that Chesney determined her wildest—but apparently most accurate—theory of all.
“We were studying recent meteorological data to establish how much cloud cover there had been in recent weeks,” she said, “but cloud cover was normal. However, when [Dr. Phillips and I] went out to visually examine the clouds, something strange was spotted.”
“Using my instruments, it appeared as if the clouds were moving too quickly in respect to the barometric pressure, wind speeds and their elevation above us.” Phillips said, “It was a minute little detail that is hardly noticeable, but it was there.”
“I then began to wonder if the clouds were ‘outpacing’ the planet.” Chesney said, “If, perhaps, the planet was steadily losing speed.”
At first, Dr. Phillips thought the idea preposterous, even telling Chesney that she was “crazy.” But he eventually agreed to begin some minor, preliminary tests to verify or debunk the theory.
What they eventually discovered four years later after conscripting many other scientists to help with the study, was astounding.
“It is slowing down at an average rate of 0.87 mph (1.37 kph) per month at the Equator.” Chesney said, “We don’t feel it now, but as the rotation speed declines towards zero, it should become more evident.”
The monthly rate of decline was not always consistent, however, as it ranged from 0.43 mph to an astounding 2.14 mph.
“If the decline in the speed of the Earth’s rotation begins to increase to even 1.3 mph on average—and it continues all the way to zero—then in 75 years the Earth will spin no more,” stated Phillips.
The cause of the situation is at present unknown; however multiple theories have been forwarded.
Dr. Marco Chiste, a geologist at St. Romana University in Barcelona, Spain, has compiled a list of the most likely theories.
“A sort of cosmic friction, perhaps, exists in the supposedly empty vacuum and void of space,” he suggested, “or, maybe, the moon has collected an increased amount of space dust, thereby increasing its gravitational pull on Earth, which is thereby slowing it down.”
He listed other ideas, including climate change, a thickening of the magma under the Earth’s crust, or a drastic change in the inner behavior of the Sun, as potential causes.
“We really don’t know, though,” he admitted. “One scientist suggested that our entire idea of how inner Earth works is completely flawed and that, in fact, there in a sort of rotation-causing ‘engine’ at the core that is running out of ‘steam.’”
The scientists do know what will happen if the planet does stop spinning completely, however.
Seasons will progressively get longer and longer, as will the duration of each day and night, as the Earth drifts towards a halt. The entire human concept of time will be nullified and come to mean nothing.
Then, perpetual seasons. On some parts of the planet, it will be summer at all times. On other parts, winter. Where on Earth the days stay dark and light for 24 hours part of the year will stay that way, forever.
“This could lead to drought and famine,” Chesney said, “or, on the other hand, a near ice-age situation.”
“The Earth may even be expelled from its current elliptical path around the Sun and thrust into the star,” she continued, “Or perhaps out into the frigid void of deep space.”
“Really, it’s long ranging and it’s not good,” Phillips said succinctly.
Now the goal of the scientists is to find out how to stop the decline in rotational speed and even increase the spin rate.
“This is going to be tough, but we must do something. We must try,” declared Phillips.
Suggested Chesney: “I propose dropping a few, or perhaps dozens or even hundreds of nuclear bombs in the deepest known trenches and crevasses on the planet to try to kick start the rotation.
“Ten in the Mariana Trench, 12 into Challenger Deep, seven or eight into Tonga Trench, even four or five into the Grand Canyon. It could work.”
Phillips suggested building something of a rigid, intergalactic rope from our planet to the Moon, so the Earth could “hitch a ride” as the Moon rotated around the planet. As the Moon moved around the Earth, the planet would spin.
“We may even have to induce potentially devastating earthquakes and tsunamis to increase the speed,” Chesney added. “When the tsunami occurred in the Indian Ocean in 2004, the Earth’s rate of rotation increased, albeit temporarily.”
“Whatever we do must be drastic, because this is a drastic situation,” Chesney declared. “But for the sake of mankind, it must be done.”