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Tilting Earth

14 November 2012

At http://phys.org/print271928022.html … what would happen if the Earth's axis suddenly tilted? Geological records, apparently, record large shifts in tilt on several occasions throughout the history of the planet – affecting climate and sea levels. This sounds almost as if it came from the pages of SIS but no, it is from researchers at Harvard. Yes, Harvard – and Caltech. What they are talking about is not catastrophism, especially not recent movements at the axis of rotation, but what is described as true polar wander – suitably taking place in the distant uniformitarian past. They are proposing that whenever the Earth is tilted to a greater or lower degree that it is today it will always return to the point at which it began to digress, thereby adhering to the view the Poles have not really changed over time – in spite of the evidence of polar wander. The tilt, they say, occurs when all the continents are together to form supercontinents, causing the Earth to spin (like a football). The tippe top analogy seems more appropriate. When the rotation pole moves, they think, the equatorial bulge acts like an anchor, causing the spin to subside and the poles to move back to their original starting points. The idea of the Earth rolling over completely is not part of the box of ideas – but it is a start.

See also a latecomer to the article – http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/true-polar-wander-shifting-of-…

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