A study found that the ongoing climate crisis has caused the Earth’s axis to shift.
This change is believed to be the result of the planet’s glaciers melting due to global warming, demonstrating the devastating impact humans continue to have on Earth.
Previously, only natural factors such as ocean currents would have affected the Earth’s axis, but this new research shows that since the 1990s, the hundreds of billions of tonnes of ice that we have lost due to climate change every year – which our oceans – ultimately caused the north and south poles to shift.
Although the magnetic poles are not in a fixed position, they are found at the point where its axis of rotation intersects the surface. With this in mind, if there are any changes in the way the mass of the Earth is distributed around the planet, the axis and poles are shifted accordingly.
Over the past 40 years, the poles have moved four meters apart, The Guardian reports.
Part of the report’s summary, which was first published last month, reads: “In general, polar motion is caused by changes in the hydrosphere, atmosphere, oceans or Earth. solid. However, short-term observational records of key information in the hydrosphere (i.e. changes in terrestrial water storage) limit a better understanding of the new polar drift in the 1990s. .
The study continues in detail that there were two scenarios suggested to quantify the contribution of changes in terrestrial water storage by comparing its drift trajectory.
These two scenarios were: the hypothesis that the change in terrestrial water storage over the entire study period from 1981 to 2020 is similar to more recent observations between 2002 and 2020; and to assume that the storage of terrestrial water has changed due to the melting of glacial ice.
Only this last scenario, with the atmosphere, the oceans and the solid Earth, agrees with the polar movement during the period 1981-2020. The accelerated decline in terrestrial water storage resulting from melting glacial ice is therefore the main driver of the rapid eastward polar drift after the 1990s. This new finding indicates that a close relationship existed between polar movement and climate change in the past.
In the worst case, if the north and south magnetic poles move completely, other poles can be created. It has already been recorded that at one point the Earth had up to eight poles at a time, Insider reports.
If this were to happen again, it is believed to weaken Earth’s protective magnetic field by up to 90% – the field is what protects us from harmful radiation from space.