Melting of ice caused by climate change is changing the Earth’s poles

Melting of ice caused by climate change is changing the Earth's poles

New research shows that melting glaciers are pushing the Earth off its axis as a result of climate change.

The north and south poles have changed by about 4 meters since 1980 – and melting glaciers have been responsible for most of the transformation since the 1990s. According to a study published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Natural factors, including ocean currents and groundwater pumps, have also contributed to this shift, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The study stated that “the accelerating decline in groundwater storage due to the melting of glaciers is the main reason for the rapid shift of the Pole towards the east after the 1990s.”

She added, “This new discovery indicates a close relationship between the polar movement and climate change in the past.”

Icebergs in Ilulissat, Greenland.
Melting glaciers changed the Earth’s axis.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

The project, funded by the Chinese government, included data from gravity recovery satellites and climate experiments, which have tracked pole shifts since 2002.

The team was led by Shanshan Ding of the Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The researchers said they found that the poles were moving south to east in the mid-1990s – and that the rate of erosion was 17 times higher between 1995 and 2020 than it was between 1981 and 1995.

Satellite image of Earth showing Greenland, Arctic and North America.
The North and South poles have moved about 4 meters since 1980.
Universal Photo Collection via Getty Images

Satellites were used to correlate melting glaciers with polar movement in 2005 and 2012, but Deng’s research expanded communications before the launch of the satellites, showing that human activities have changed since the 1990s. The Guardian reported.

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Vincent Humphrey, of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, who was not involved in the new research, told the media that he showed how human activities have redistributed massive amounts of water around the world.

President Joe Biden listens during the virtual climate summit.
President Joe Biden announced during a virtual Earth Day summit that the United States will reduce emissions responsible for climate change by 50-52 percent by 2030.
Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

“It tells you how powerful this profound change is – it is so large that it can change the Earth’s axis,” he said, adding that the axis motion is not large enough to affect everyday life.

He said it could change the length of a day, but only in milliseconds.

President Joe Biden stressed the need to address climate change and said last week that the United States “decided to take action” on the issue, Newsweek reported.

“The signs are clear, the science is undeniable, and the cost of inactivity is increasing,” he said.

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