CLAIM: Climate has shifted the axis of the Earth

AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION

Research News

IMAGE
IMAGE: MELTING OF GLACIERS IN ALASKA, GREENLAND, THE SOUTHERN ANDES, ANTARCTICA, THE CAUCASUS AND THE MIDDLE EAST ACCELERATED IN THE MID-90S, BECOMING THE MAIN DRIVER PUSHING EARTH’S POLES INTO A SUDDEN… view more CREDIT: CREDIT: DENG ET AL (2021) GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS/AGU

WASHINGTON– Glacial melting due to global warming is likely the cause of a shift in the movement of the poles that occurred in the 1990s.

The locations of the North and South poles aren’t static, unchanging spots on our planet. The axis Earth spins around–or more specifically the surface that invisible line emerges from–is always moving due to processes scientists don’t completely understand. The way water is distributed on Earth’s surface is one factor that drives the drift.

Melting glaciers redistributed enough water to cause the direction of polar wander to turn and accelerate eastward during the mid-1990s, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, AGU’s journal for high-impact, short-format reports with immediate implications spanning all Earth and space sciences.

“The faster ice melting under global warming was the most likely cause of the directional change of the polar drift in the 1990s,” said Shanshan Deng, a researcher at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an author of the new study.

The Earth spins around an axis kind of like a top, explains Vincent Humphrey, a climate scientist at the University of Zurich who was not involved in this research. If the weight of a top is moved around, the spinning top would start to lean and wobble as its rotational axis changes. The same thing happens to the Earth as weight is shifted from one area to the other.

Researchers have been able to determine the causes of polar drifts starting from 2002 based on data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), a joint mission by NASA and the German Aerospace Center, launched with twin satellites that year and a follow up mission in 2018. The mission gathered information on how mass is distributed around the planet by measuring uneven changes in gravity at different points.

Previous studies released on the GRACE mission data revealed some of the reasons for later changes in direction. For example, research has determined more recent movements of the North Pole away from Canada and toward Russia to be caused by factors like molten iron in the Earth’s outer core. Other shifts were caused in part by what’s called the terrestrial water storage change, the process by which all the water on land–including frozen water in glaciers and groundwater stored under our continents–is being lost through melting and groundwater pumping.

The authors of the new study believed that this water loss on land contributed to the shifts in the polar drift in the past two decades by changing the way mass is distributed around the world. In particular, they wanted to see if it could also explain changes that occurred in the mid-1990s.

In 1995, the direction of polar drift shifted from southward to eastward. The average speed of drift from 1995 to 2020 also increased about 17 times from the average speed recorded from 1981 to 1995.

Now researchers have found a way to wind modern pole tracking analysis backward in time to learn why this drift occurred. The new research calculates the total land water loss in the 1990s before the GRACE mission started.

“The findings offer a clue for studying past climate-driven polar motion,” said Suxia Liu, a hydrologist at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the corresponding author of the new study. “The goal of this project, funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China is to explore the relationship between the water and polar motion.”

Water loss and polar drift

Using data on glacier loss and estimations of ground water pumping, Liu and her colleagues calculated how the water stored on land changed. They found that the contributions of water loss from the polar regions is the main driver of polar drift, with contributions from water loss in nonpolar regions. Together, all this water loss explained the eastward change in polar drift.

“I think it brings an interesting piece of evidence to this question,” said Humphrey. “It tells you how strong this mass change is–it’s so big that it can change the axis of the Earth.”

Humphrey said the change to the Earth’s axis isn’t large enough that it would affect daily life. It could change the length of day we experience, but only by milliseconds.

The faster ice melting couldn’t entirely explain the shift, Deng said. While they didn’t analyze this specifically, she speculated that the slight gap might be due to activities involving land water storage in non-polar regions, such as unsustainable groundwater pumping for agriculture.

Humphrey said this evidence reveals how much direct human activity can have an impact on changes to the mass of water on land. Their analysis revealed large changes in water mass in areas like California, northern Texas, the region around Beijing and northern India, for example–all areas that have been pumping large amounts of groundwater for agricultural use.

“The ground water contribution is also an important one,” Humphrey said. “Here you have a local water management problem that is picked up by this type of analysis.”

Liu said the research has larger implications for our understanding of land water storage earlier in the 20th century. Researchers have 176 years of data on polar drift. By using some of the methods highlighted by her and her colleagues, it could be possible to use those changes in direction and speed to estimate how much land water was lost in past years.

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April 24, 2021 6:27 pm

Who knew. And here I thought is was the increasing numbers of polar bears and the increasing size of volcanic Iceland.

Dennis
Reply to  John Shewchuk
April 24, 2021 6:51 pm

The Walrus said, apparently.

Nick
Reply to  John Shewchuk
April 25, 2021 12:30 am

I think you are wrong. It is more likely to be the massive number of t’rough feeding’ so called climate scientists wandering around up there causing it to tilt! of course they would also be breathing out a lot of CO2.

Vuk
Reply to  John Shewchuk
April 25, 2021 2:19 am

Most of the Earth’s mass that determines orientation of the rotational axis is well below surface The liquid outer core circulation is continually altered by asymmetricity and differential rotation of inner solid core and it is reflected in the changes of the Earth’s surface magnetic field, which has nothing to do with minuscule surface temperature or ocean level changes.
The North hemisphere’s magnetic field intensity during Maunder Minimum has entered ever increasing bifurcation phase reaching its extreme during  the1940 -1980 period, when two extremities (located west of Hudson Bay, Canada  and north of lake Baikal, central Siberia, Russia) were about equal in the strength. The bifurcation process may well end by the end of this century since the Canadian extremity has entered third phase of a rapid decline since its peak of 1660s.    
 

Can-vs-Rus.gif
Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
April 25, 2021 2:24 am

Current map of the Earth’s magnetic field intensity

MainField.gif
Occams_Chainsaw
Reply to  Vuk
April 25, 2021 3:35 am

LOL! Even tho’ the WUWT article is about shifts in the celestial, NOT the magnetic axis, you’re truly elegant rebuttal is still 100% spot-on.

Folks seem to forget that those pics showing the removal of 1/4 of the Earth as a bigass 3-D wedgie are just simple models for illustrative purposes, NOT empirically produced from actual raw data (i.e. they’re just the proverbial “Artist’s Rendition”)

Reply to  Occams_Chainsaw
April 25, 2021 6:14 pm

Spot On! 🙂

BTW, GNSS (GPS + GLASNOSS) does not “measure” ‘Polar Motion’ (the Annual and Chandler Wobbles of the Earth’s rotational axis)! Yet, those wobbles … are in the GNSS (satellite network) time-series … the phase and spectral power … and that gives us confidence … that they, the Annual and Chandler Wobble … are real! The ancient Egyptian civilization recorded the Nile flooding and grain planting and harvests, very accurately. In those records, you will find, if you are brave, the Lunar Nodal Cycle, about 18.6 years, in our … Ice Age ‘Era’ of Earth! 🙂

Reply to  Vuk
April 25, 2021 5:48 pm

I like this graph! –Reg

Eisenhower
Reply to  Vuk
April 26, 2021 2:29 pm

.02% of Earth’s Mass is Water / Ice
About 90% of the mass of the Earth is composed of the iron–nickel alloy (95% iron) in the core (30%), and the silicon dioxides (c. 33%) and magnesium oxide (c. 27%) in the mantle and crust. Minor contributions are from iron(II) oxide (5%), aluminium oxide (3%) and calcium oxide (2%),[13] besides numerous trace elements (in elementary terms: iron and oxygen c. 32% each, magnesium and silicon c. 15% each, calcium, aluminium and nickel c. 1.5% each). Carbon accounts for 0.03%, water for 0.02%, and the atmosphere for about one part per million

Dave
April 24, 2021 6:35 pm

You do have to wonder when the factors surely causing the change are all due to activities the Left thinks we should not be doing. Just the way it’s written up here?

Ron Long
Reply to  Dave
April 25, 2021 3:17 am

Shirley you’re not suggesting that the AGU is what’s spinning out of control? And the earth is continuing normal cycles?

Occams_Chainsaw
Reply to  Dave
April 25, 2021 3:47 am

For example, did you know that the tides are caused by all the non-vegan fat people going to Atlantic & Mediterranean beaches on weekends?

And that, for people above a certain BMI baseline, the EU wants more even redistribution in the directions of travel AND the time spent in designated seas & oceans? On the upside, at least they’re still going to be allowed to live. For now.

No, not really.

Yet.

Reply to  Dave
April 25, 2021 7:51 am

The way it’s written up seems to be confusing the axial poles with the magnetic poles.

Tom Abbott
April 24, 2021 6:35 pm

“Climate has shifted the axis of the Earth”

I saw this headline yesterday but did not read the article because I knew I would see it here at WUWT, and here it is!

Now, I’ll go read it.

Curious George
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 24, 2021 7:17 pm

It could be illustrated very nicely by a picture of a wandering of a pole. But noooo …

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Curious George
April 24, 2021 8:56 pm

The shift in the spin axis might be a few centimeters. Spin axis change is far too small to measure within larger uncertainty. LOD changes are easier to measure (time based), but LOD and spin axis poles are not necessarily correlated. One can change independent of the other.
What they have is a model that says the spin axis pole locations should change based on those mass shifts, but in actual location measurement, they are far too small to actually measure.

Last edited 1 month ago by joelobryan
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 25, 2021 9:52 am

Joel,
In the original research article at https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020GL092114 , the authors claim to be able to measure the change, which is a matter of single-digit inches per year.

Reply to  Curious George
April 25, 2021 7:45 pm

I’ll check to see whether my wife has a picture of her paternal grandfather. Even before he pulled up roots to head for America, he was reportedly a wandering Pole par excellence.

mikee
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 25, 2021 12:04 am

“Climate has shifted the axis of the Earth” – how high is the BS today!

Philo
Reply to  mikee
April 25, 2021 7:35 am

A$$ deep on a donkey!

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 25, 2021 11:12 am

If the poles are shifting, will [unionised] pole-dancers demand danger-money?

Auto
Just enquiring . . .

James D Russell
April 24, 2021 6:36 pm

I have a question; Have the Aircraft that made emergency landings on the ice fields in Greenland been exposed from the more than twenty feet of ice and snow the covered them during the seventy-eight years they sat there.

Steve E.
Reply to  James D Russell
April 24, 2021 7:56 pm

The 2 B-17’s and 6 p-38’s of the lost squadron were around 260 under the surface when finally located in 1981

Derg
Reply to  Steve E.
April 25, 2021 2:14 am

James what you don’t understand is that because of climate change those planes should have been buried in 5k feet of snow 😉

Richard Page
Reply to  Steve E.
April 25, 2021 10:45 am

I was under the impression that, because of the movement in the ice, parts of them had been brought to the surface – which is how they came to be found in the first place.

Rick R
Reply to  Richard Page
April 26, 2021 9:00 pm

Sorry Rich, they recovered one of the P-38s in the early 90’S!
Get the book, it”s a fascinating read.

Rick R
Reply to  James D Russell
April 26, 2021 8:55 pm

I read the book “The Lost Squadron” and the thing that really was so
amazing was how much snow fell on Greenland at that time in just under
40 years, but nobody cared about the sea level then!

cirby
April 24, 2021 6:38 pm

…except for the little problem that, when you look at the numbers, the amount of the total pole shift from glaciers melting is… four meters.

Since the early 1980s.

They try to claim all of the pole shift is from that, but it’s still just four friggin’ meters.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  cirby
April 24, 2021 8:22 pm

They try to claim all of the pole shift is from that, but it’s still just four friggin’ meters.

Which is most likely a measurement so far within the margins of error that it’s beyond insignificant … a meaningless token of AGW gibberish.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Rory Forbes
April 24, 2021 8:54 pm

And its all caused by carbon dioxide.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
April 24, 2021 10:30 pm

Shore that’s amazin’ stuff, it is. If only we’d been given the gift of knowin’ all the uses of it … clever as the very dickens. Who’d a thunk it?

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Rory Forbes
April 25, 2021 2:04 am

It is The God Molecule…

David A
Reply to  Rory Forbes
April 24, 2021 9:01 pm

I am certain that the tilting of Guam is related.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  David A
April 24, 2021 10:33 pm

Oh, yes … it’s sure to be at the bottom of that too (so to speak). Poor old Hank will never live that down.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  cirby
April 24, 2021 9:01 pm

You can’t go to poles and locate their precise center within that margin of error. Best you could do is probably +/- a dozen meters or so of the real pole.
Even with GPS uniut in hand, GPS may be good to centimeters over most of the Eartth, but those coordinates that read out are based on a geodetic model of the Earth. At the poles that geodetic model is far less accurate than most of the lower latitudes where bulge and shifts are better mapped in the WGS84 geoid model.

ATheoK
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 25, 2021 5:41 am

According to the religious tenets of the agu alleged scientists, every time whales migrate between birthing waters to polar feeding grounds, the Earth’s poles wander.

I suppose waterfowl seasonal migrations and when tens of thousands of illegal immigrants march on America’s southern border also affect Earth’s wandering poles.

Isn’t amazing what biased people can simply assume and claim because of their beliefs?
Especially when they claim impossible levels of accuracy for their wandering poles.

Yet, these religious bigots insist their devotional belief that Earth’s wandering poles are due to mankind’s CO₂ emissions. Emissions that are minor when compared to Earth’s natural seasonal cycles.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ATheoK
April 25, 2021 7:37 am

“I suppose waterfowl seasonal migrations and when tens of thousands of illegal immigrants march on America’s southern border also affect Earth’s wandering poles.”

Yes, we are in danger of tipping over and looking like Uranus if many more illegal aliens come to the U.S. southern border!

rah
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 25, 2021 5:43 am

If the mass has diminished any significant amount then the sea levels there should be measurably lower there.

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 25, 2021 7:39 am

First of all Joel, you don’t have to go to the poles to locate the center. You get a high power telescope, point it towards Polaris, and take a long time exposure on a photographic plate. You develop the film, and from the arcs created by the stars, you can find the exact point in sky of center of axis. If you need to be more precise, you get a higher power telescope. No need for GPS.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Roger Taguchi
April 25, 2021 8:27 am

How is that “exact point in sky of center of axis” correlated with an exact point on the surface of the Earth?

Richard Page
Reply to  Roger Taguchi
April 25, 2021 10:52 am

Lovely. And the precision of this method is what? Can you provide the error range for this, also taking into account precession of the earth, please?

Sara
April 24, 2021 6:45 pm

Is there ANYTHING ELSE they can fuss about? Anything?

This planet’s axial tilt and rotational shift is something I’ve known about since 8th grade, when it didn’t cause panic attacks manifested by grants money seekers. It’s always been there. ALWAYS. The axis wobbles…. and??????

Tom Bakewell
April 24, 2021 6:48 pm

Glaciers in the Middle East? To quote Click and Clack “Doesn’t anyone screen these calls?”

Sara
Reply to  Tom Bakewell
April 25, 2021 10:32 am

What – you think that during the last Ice Age (the Big One, plus its shorter after ice-ups), there were no glaciers anywhere but north of the equator? Why wouldn’t there be snow and ice in the Middle East and the Sahara, if modern-day Morocco can have enough snow in the Atlas Mountains to have ski resorts?

Persia’s mountains aren’t just pretty photo subjects: they are tall enough to hold snow when the climate is cold enough for it and wouldn’t that snow melt and flow downward into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and water the plains below? Ditto in the deserts of Africa – there are plenty of pictographs showing lakes and rivers full of fish and land with grazing game animals where it is now mostly discouraged weeds and dry dirt.

Just because it’s desert now, dry and “barren” doesn’t mean that it was always that way.

mikebartnz
April 24, 2021 6:49 pm

Once again this doesn’t pass the smell test.

Philo
Reply to  mikebartnz
April 25, 2021 7:42 am

Oh it does pass the smell test: it stinks of overzealous modelling and insignificant actual research.
Even 3-4 meters is insignificant to an unknown number of meters or millimeters on the earth’s surface.

A difference without distinctions.

Last edited 1 month ago by Philo
Dennis
April 24, 2021 6:50 pm

It feels strange to have been moved from “down under” to “up on top” of the world.

sarc.

fred250
Reply to  Dennis
April 24, 2021 9:56 pm

That sudden rush of blood to the feet makes me dizzy !!

Stevek
April 24, 2021 6:50 pm

“ Shanshan Deng, a researcher at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences”

China propaganda to influence the West to use unreliable and costly green energy.

Victoria arnau
April 24, 2021 7:02 pm

Wait a minute. The EARTHS MAGNETIC POLES ARE SHIFTING ..LIKE RIGHT NOW THE ” NORTH POLE” IS PRETTY MUCH IN SIBERIA… THIS SHIFT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CLIMATE CHANGE…IN FACT CLIMATE CHANGE HAS TO DO WITH ” THE EARTHS MAGNETIC POLES SHIFTING ” OUR PLANET HAS GONE THROUGHT THIS ” POLE SHIFT ” BEFORE… WILL THE AURORA ( NORTHERN LIGHTS) MOVE??? DONT KNOW SCIENTISTS DONT KNOW. BOTH POLES HAVE WANDERED SINCE BEGINNING…THESE MAGNETIC FLIPS HAVE OCCURRED BEFORE..NORTH IS SOUTH AND SOUTH IS NORTH. REVERSAL LEADS TO
((( CLIMATE CHANGE ))) WE ARE MOST LIKELY GOING TO HAVE A POLE FLIP… AN UPCOMING REVERSAL OF OUR POLES… IF WE GET A MAGNETIC POLE REVERSAL THEN FROM STUDIES OF PREVIOUS REVERSALS THE RISK IS HIGH OF INCREASED UV AS A RESULT OF THE OZONE LAYER DAMAGED BY REPEATED SOLAR STORMS WHICH WILL HAPPEN… ALOT OF SUNBLOCK FOLKS. ONE ARTICLE SAIDS THE FOLLOWING : THE RISKS OF SOLAR STORMS ARE ALWAYS PRESENT WETHER ITS MAGNETIC REVERSAL OR NOT . THE MAIN RISK OF A SOLAR STORM IS GPS SATELLITES GLITCHES FOR HOURS AND POWER CUTS. . WHILE CO2 CAUSES HEAT TO BE TRAPPED IN THE LOWER ATMOSPHERE IT ACTUALLY COOLS THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE. RESEARCH ALSO INDICATES THAT RISING CO2 LEVELS HAVE CAUSED THE DENSES PART OF THE IONOSPHERE TO LOWER BY ABOUT 5 KM GLOBALLY. CHANGES IN THE EARTHS MAGNETIC FIELD CAN CAUSE ” MUCH LARGER CHANGES ” . CHANGES CAN CAUSE A WARMING OVER SOME PARTS OF EARTH AND COOLING OVER OTHER PARTS OF EARTH. OVER ANTARCTICA A WARMING UP TO 12 DEGREES …A MAY 2014 ARTICLE ” EARTHS MAGNETIC FIELD IS IMPORTANT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AT HIGH ALTITUDES” BY BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Victoria arnau
April 24, 2021 8:18 pm

Please stop shouting, Victoria. Calm down. And please read the article again. They are not discussing the MAGNETIC pole. They are claiming the ROTATIONAL pole is drifting. Due to glaciers melting and ground water pumping. Hahahaha!

The Earth’s radius is 3,963 miles at the Equator to 3,950 miles at either pole. The molten rocks inside are much heavier than water. The water from glacial melt and groundwater pumping didn’t leave the planet: it merely moved slightly. The total amount of water shift since 1990, averaged across the globe, has to be less than a millimeter. That miniscule water shift has had no effect on the rotation of the planet. And the “lowering of the Ionosphere” that you wrongly claim to have occurred has even less mass than that.

The American Geophysical Union is a Marxist propaganda outfit. The authors of the study are Communist stooges. NASA is either wrongly cited or they have gone bonkers. You can safely pump your well water without hurtling the Earth into the Sun. Trust me. And get some sleep. You’ll feel better.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
April 25, 2021 7:06 am

They didn’t realise, the number of polar bears, in conrast to griffs belief, is increasing, so a pole shift is to erxpect, isn’t it ?
😀

Last edited 1 month ago by Krishna Gans
Greg
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 26, 2021 1:36 am

It’s increasing mass of polar bears which is shifting the rotational pole. That is just how many of them there are now.

DHR
April 24, 2021 7:04 pm

Rock is much heavier than water or ice so have they eliminated all of the continent building going on? The Himalayas are getting higher as is known for sure. And there is unbuilding as well. Asia is pulling away from Africa for example and the Atlantic is widening. Seems like a lot to eliminate before blaming global warming.

David A
Reply to  DHR
April 24, 2021 9:07 pm

Beneath that mountain building is a rather large and heavy mantle, that moves! How this affects uncertain Grace measurements, is unknown.

ATheoK
Reply to  DHR
April 25, 2021 6:00 am

Andes, Alps, Sierras and the Rocky Mountains are also uplifting/rising/growing.
The entire Western America continental plate is being uplifted.

Couple with Earth’s massive highly compressed iron core.

One wonders just how much leverage the agu alleged scientists used for their minor ice movement beliefs?
Based upon their claims, these alleged scientists ignored all of the accreting ice.

These alleged scientists also ignored all of our Solar System’s gravitation effects on Earth’s barycentric center.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  ATheoK
April 25, 2021 10:00 am

The AGU press release is an inaccurate summary of the actual research article. Surprise, surprise! Most of the unsupported propaganda is in the press release.

Occams_Chainsaw
Reply to  DHR
April 25, 2021 10:30 am

Don’t forget the soon-to-be-solid, ~1500⁰C magma pouring up from the floor of Atlantic (aka the Mid-Atlantic rift) that’s driving plate tectonics.

spangled drongo
Reply to  DHR
April 25, 2021 7:26 pm

And the fact that the Pacific Ocean levels have actually fallen for the last century says that we can eliminate ice melt:

http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO70000/IDO70000_60370_SLD.shtml

Rick R
Reply to  spangled drongo
April 26, 2021 9:04 pm

Spot on my friend, I was thinking about that same thing
as I was reading the article

Alexy Scherbakoff
April 24, 2021 7:06 pm

Time to change the bearings.

Scissor
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 24, 2021 8:57 pm

Maybe it needs a little axis grease.

Robert of Texas
April 24, 2021 7:10 pm

Maybe they should lookup the word precession. Turns out the Earth’s axis of spin is constantly changing. You do not need global warming for this – it is already happening.

commieBob
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 24, 2021 7:20 pm

The average speed of drift from 1995 to 2020 also increased about 17 times from the average speed recorded from 1981 to 1995.

For something geological, that time period is less than the blink of an eye. If they could say it’s never been this fast in the last million years I’d pay attention.

This reminds me of:

Now that we can finally measure it, we’ve discovered a hole in the ozone layer. OMG we’re all going to dye. (I know how to spell. I’m just trying to avoid moderation)

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  commieBob
April 25, 2021 12:19 am

If they could say it’s never been this fast in the last million years I’d pay attention.”

They could say it, and it would probably be a lie, just like everything to do with climate right now being unprecedented, is a lie.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  commieBob
April 25, 2021 10:04 am

I’m just trying to avoid moderation

A fate worse than tie dying.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 24, 2021 8:20 pm

You mean obliquity, Bob.

dk_
April 24, 2021 7:25 pm

April’s fools just keep on giving.

markl
April 24, 2021 7:45 pm

What should annoy us is this was printed, not what it said.

Anon
April 24, 2021 7:50 pm

Think of the implications!!! CO2 is not only is the climate control knob but also controls the Polar Drift. It appears we have found the “MASTER MOLECULE” and can manipulate our universe by simply choosing what to burn or not to burn. Our early ancestors were onto something when they made burnt offerings to the Gods, they just didn’t realize that it was coal the gods wanted and not animal or human sacrifices. (lol)

We have reached peak lunacy here. IMHO

On a more serious note, this sounds like a scientific group trying to get on the research grant money gravy train (ie make it rain). It is a well known research community “secret” that if you can link your research to climate change you can greatly improve your chances of funding. And do I ever have stories of that happening and even a first hand experience of losing a grant to a group citing climate change that the agencies jumped all over (but 10 years later nothing has been substantiated, and even worse contradicted). Pulling in a million dollar grant will get you tenure at most major Universties, and as it is the money they care about, whether your research bears fruit or not is immaterial.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anon
David A
Reply to  Anon
April 24, 2021 9:11 pm

“We have reached peak lunacy here. IMHO”

So any rational person would think. Yet as they pass lunacy, they are accelerating!

Redge
Reply to  David A
April 24, 2021 10:52 pm

Yet as they pass lunacy, they are accelerating!

It’s CO2 wot dunnit

Joel O'Bryan
April 24, 2021 8:51 pm

“If the weight of a top is moved around, the spinning top would start to lean and wobble as its rotational axis changes. The same thing happens to the Earth as weight is shifted from one area to the other.”

Sort of like Guam might tip over, we may tip over. the whole Earth OMFG! What a bunch of morons.
Note they NEVER say how much the spin axis poles move, but that LOD might change a few milliseconds. Sorry, but LOD and spin axis are only loosely correlated. One can change independent of the other.
.
The title claims climate caused the drift. Yet the researchers admit changes in glacier mass doesn’t account for the change:

“The faster ice melting couldn’t entirely explain the shift, Deng said. While they didn’t analyze this specifically, she speculated that the slight gap might be due to activities involving land water storage in non-polar regions, such as unsustainable groundwater pumping for agriculture.”

All in all, the spin axis might move a few centimeters a decade… At most. Just another attempt to gin up climate scam fear and get funding to keep the research gig going.

Sara
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 25, 2021 4:51 am

And you didn’t add that the rotational WOBBLE is something that has ALWAYS existed (referred to occasionally as Milankovitch cycles) and takes about 25,000 years to make one complete polar circular wobble. And has nothing to do with the magnetic polar shift, either. That’s the earth’s core at work.

Geezo Pete, I knew about this when I was in grade school and the National Geographic wasn’t run by idiotas. Ice has nothing to do with it. You know it. I know it. But they have to excuse their existence by coming up with something so ridiculous that it defies physics.

The earth’s axis wobbles. It has always wobbled. It will wobble and give us a friendly climate to live in, despite recurrent ice ages and desertifications, until the Sun swells up into a red giant and swallows the inner planets.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Sara
April 25, 2021 7:14 am

It used to be the “Earth’s got a fever”! Now it’s “The Earth’s got the colywobbles”! Climate change causes everything.

Sara
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 25, 2021 10:35 am

They don’t have anything else to grab onto, Bruce, so they go for the obvious instead of doing real research. They probably don’t believe that the Himalayas were once ocean bottom, despite recurring finds of ammonites and other fossils there, because continental drift isn’t in their vocabulary.

Philo
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 25, 2021 8:12 am

Well, both the magnetic pole and the rotational pole have been documented over several million years.
But I would place my money($5) on the rotational movement. Milankovitch cycles have been traced back much further than temperatures. They also have more precision since the signal is a much smaller fraction of the changes.

Sara
Reply to  Philo
April 25, 2021 10:36 am

And here I always thought that science people knew about all of that….

I am SO disappointed.

JaneHM
April 24, 2021 9:15 pm

Are they taking this continuing change in the gravitational equipotential into account when they ‘measure’ sea level with tidal gauges and satellites?

Philo
Reply to  JaneHM
April 25, 2021 8:34 am

Yes, at least they try. They use the huge number of satellite measurements to establish a geolevel map of gravity. That can be used to calculate sea levels and changes.
It doesn’t always agree with established tidal gauges so neither establishes a bullet proof accuracy.
Suffice to say we know that sealevel has risen about 130 meters since 20,000 yearsbeforepresent. The rate of change was .1-.3mm/yr until about 200ybp when it apparently increase to ~10mm/yr. The most recent data also used satellite measurements starting in 1992. While in some ways they are technically more accurate they also don’t match long established tide guages(several hundred years with a limited number of guages). The sea level is affected by many things, but right now the sea level rise is limited by the rate the ice caps melt which is very much smaller than it was at the end of the last ice age 8000 ybp.

Reply to  Philo
April 25, 2021 11:44 am

Philo,
What I’ve read here, on WUWT, suggests that sea level rise – SLR – is pretty constant, over at least 150 years, at no more than 3mm [0.3 cm] per year.
And probably longer – but error bars going back before about 1875 are probably larger, given the very limited number of tide gauges existing that long ago.

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EastBayLarry
April 24, 2021 9:23 pm

“In 1995, the direction of polar drift shifted from southward to eastward.”
I seem to recall from high school that the spin axis DEFINES the north pole and from that point all directions are SOUTH. So how do they define a drift to the east?

Steve Reddish
Reply to  EastBayLarry
April 25, 2021 8:45 am

I wondered about that, and decided they must be correlating direction of shift with meridians of longitude. Thus, a move “down” the meridan at 90 degrees west is a move west, and a move toward Greenwich, England is a move south.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  EastBayLarry
April 25, 2021 10:20 am

Based on western, white, imperialist, colonial definition of the map.

I have applied to the appropriate authorities to have them cancelled.

Just filling out paper work.

What rhymes with “white supremacy”?

Richard Page
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
April 25, 2021 1:18 pm

‘Total Anarchy?’

Doonman
April 24, 2021 9:29 pm

When you lose water, where does it go?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Doonman
April 25, 2021 4:53 am

The same place your missing socks go.

Mr. Lee
April 24, 2021 9:29 pm

And the moon is beginning to crack in half like in Thundar the Barbarian.

SMC
April 24, 2021 9:40 pm

I saw this article on another site. It is so bad, it’s very obvious the author has no clue about earth science. But of course, CAGW is about feelings, not science.

April 24, 2021 9:40 pm

Anyone have a back of the envelope calculation of the mass of the total ice on the earth as a fraction of the total mass of the planet? I suspect that fraction is so small that the effects of essentially small changes in total ice mass would have an effect too small to measure with any accuracy.

fred250
Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
April 24, 2021 10:01 pm

Certainly, the Ice loss since 1900 from Greenland and Antarctica is insignificant in terms of their respective volumes. (graphs use PIoMAS and Grace data.)

comment image

comment image

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  fred250
April 25, 2021 10:18 am

I thought recent papers show east Antarctic increase exceeds west Antarctic decrease for net increase over recent decades

fred250
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
April 25, 2021 12:16 pm

Very tiny amounts either way compared to the total mass.

Graph remains unchanged.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
April 25, 2021 10:09 am

Ralph
The small mass is somewhat compensated for by the long lever arm, since glaciers tend to be at high elevations.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 25, 2021 11:54 am

Clyde,
Glaciers also tend – some exceptions – to be in more pole-ward parts – so closer to the axis of rotation.
Might human migration – from tropical regions to cooler climes – also have some un-accounted-for effects?
[Though, I know the total mass of every human alive is less than that of a single cubic kilometre of seawater!].

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eyesonu
April 24, 2021 9:44 pm

Over the years I’ve noticed that the earth wobbles more on late Friday and Saturday nights. Whoda thought it was the ice?

Redge
Reply to  eyesonu
April 24, 2021 10:58 pm

Whoda thought it was the ice?

Ice definitely causes the wobbles on Friday and Saturday nights – gotta put something in my cuba libra

Last edited 1 month ago by Redge
mikee
Reply to  eyesonu
April 25, 2021 12:10 am

Its the Martini – shaken not stirred!

Komeradecube
Reply to  eyesonu
April 25, 2021 4:52 am

I think the wobble may be caused by the sauce you’re putting on the ice and not the ice itself.

ATheoK
Reply to  Komeradecube
April 25, 2021 6:13 am

No no no.
he ice melt speeds up when the ice is dropped into the sauce and breathed upon by the drinker. It must be caused by the deific molecule CO₂!
/s

Philo
Reply to  eyesonu
April 25, 2021 8:38 am

It’s not the ice, it’s what the ice is mixed in!

fred250
April 24, 2021 9:53 pm

One wonders where the “poles” were in the MWP and most of the earlier parts of the Holocene…

… when there was often ZERO Arctic sea ice, and glaciers were way smaller than now, if they even existed at all.

Rudi
April 24, 2021 10:08 pm

Or is it the shift in the magnetic field that is the main cause of climate change wich in turn shifts the axis. The main assumption, that anything on earth would be of static nature without humans is extremely rediculous.

H. D. Hoese
April 24, 2021 10:47 pm

I thought that sea level was influenced by pole (Chandler) tides, millimeters at least, not vice-versa. At least that is what I recall that this book said. Lisitzin, E. 1974. Sea-level Changes. Elsevier Oceanographic Series. 8. Opps last century. AGU has a net zero energy building and a Ethics and Equity Center and in their advertisement got the words equity, diversity and inclusive in the same paragraph. Their science and solutions are admittedly ethical, unbiased and respectful, nothing about pre-Anthropocene science.

Bjarne Bisballe
April 24, 2021 10:52 pm

Tropic of Cancercomment image

Greg
April 24, 2021 11:06 pm

live our values in everything we do, such as our net zero energy renovated building in Washington, D.C. and our Ethics and Equity Center, which fosters a diverse and inclusive geoscience community to ensure responsible conduct.

Clearly those in control of the AGU now see it primarily as a political platform rather than a professional body for objective science.

April 24, 2021 11:32 pm

Pure non sense.

Steve Case
April 25, 2021 12:21 am

The South Pole has been tracked over time:comment image
Most of the movement that you can see from those flags next to a geological survey marker marching off into the distance is from the ice cap movement. The 3.28 mm/yr movement mentioned in the [<a href=”https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/262911.php”>View More</a>] link to the Eurekalert article is probably below the resolution of the screenshot image.

Here’s the page where that video screenshot comes from: <a href=”https://uwm.edu/science-bag/category/all-videos/page/2/”>UWM Science Bag</a>

Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
April 25, 2021 12:23 am

I forgot to use the tools for making a link:
UWM Science Bag

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steve Case
April 25, 2021 10:13 am

Image insertion seems to be acting strangely today.

Climate believer
April 25, 2021 12:24 am

If we could get everybody to just lean over slightly, I think we could crack this.

….paging Mr Kerry..

JSMill
April 25, 2021 1:12 am
JohnA
April 25, 2021 1:15 am

Maybe this caused The Leaning Tower of Pisa,

Alastair gray
April 25, 2021 1:20 am

When polar wandering is discussed the topic is migration of the magnetic poles. This is quite considerable and measured in kilometres per year it is determined by many measurements of geomagnetic field. These people discuss the migration of the rotational pole without mentioning
1) extent of migration
2) how is this migration determined
3) uncertaintyu in this measurement
4) no mention of how this might be extrapolated into the uncharted past
All in all total nonsense of a report

Derek Wood
April 25, 2021 1:35 am

Admittedly, I’m not any kind of a scientist, but my BS detector is off the scale!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Derek Wood
April 25, 2021 8:41 am

The most important climate based scientific instrument, be sure to keep it calibrated and don’t leave home without it

Peter Plail
April 25, 2021 1:55 am

So presumably the axis is moving back to where it was before the ice accumulated on the glaciers.

mwhite
April 25, 2021 1:58 am

Remember “Old Pulteney Row To The Pole”
Old Pulteney Row To The Pole – Wikipedia

That was the expedition to row to the north pole where had been, but not where it was.

Magnetic_North_Pole_1840_2019_pillars.jpg (1920×1080) (esa.int)

The magnetic north pole has been heading toward Asia since the mid 1800s

Occams_Chainsaw
April 25, 2021 3:17 am

Are these clowns serious? Should Climate Science still even be considered a science? Maybe call it “Climate Scientology”?

1. Do they realize that agricultural (or ANY) use of groundwater doesn’t make the water disappear from the planet? Ditto for any ice melting? Y’know….the thing (aka the Water cycle)?

2. Do they REALLY believe that our mantle is static AND homogeneous?
Ditto for our solid ferrometallic core (No, it’s NOT a bigass pinball).
Double-ditto for our liquid ferrometallic outer core?

3. Do they realize that the Land/Water distribution is WAY WAY more unbalanced than any pissant unbalancing caused by melting ice?
i.e. the Northern-Eastern hemihemisphere (‘quadrosphere’?) contains most of the dry land b/c Russia’s hogging it all?

4. Don’t get me started on what some Climate Skientists think about MAGNETIC polar shift.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Occams_Chainsaw
April 25, 2021 10:44 am

On (1), it doesn’t disappear…it gets re-distributed, which changes the earth’s wobble. There is a global water balance, but not necessarily a local or even regional one. Case in point: the Ogallala Aquifer. which covers about 175,000 square miles in the middle of the US. Water has been removed over the past century faster than it can be recharged. The net loss there is a net gain somewhere else.

fretslider
April 25, 2021 3:18 am

So, we’re running out of water and Oxygen and now man is going to make the earth fall over.

There’s a pandemic of mentally unhinged climate alarmism

Joseph Zorzin
April 25, 2021 3:51 am

This is terrifying- we must now spend trillions to push the poles back to where they belong- where they were before the industrial age! We should all panic over this. Set up a UN commission to be in charge of fixing the problem.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 25, 2021 7:57 am

The UN International Panel on Pole Change.

Richard Page
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 25, 2021 1:30 pm

I’m so sorry but that is extremely prejudicial to people from Poland and also to some types of dancers. Might I suggest ‘Geographical Reorientation’ as an alternative, or perhaps ‘Central Axis Recalibration’ – perhaps we should refer the matter of the name to a UN appointed committee to establish a non-racist, non-prejudicial title for the organisation first?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Richard Page
April 26, 2021 3:55 am

I had no idea people in Poland would take offense.

In that case, I support removing “pole” and adding your suggestion of “Geographical Reorientation”.

Surely, noone can be offended at that. (Don’t bet on it, Tom)

Stephen Skinner
April 25, 2021 3:53 am

This should be apparent on maps then? So maps printed in 1909 should show a different position for the geographic pole compared to now? I don’t suppose the expansion of the Atlantic and the general movement of plates along with the redirection of tidal forces on the oceans will have any noticeable effect?

Tom
April 25, 2021 4:11 am

In 1995, the direction of polar drift shifted from southward to eastward.”

The authors even seem to fail basic geography. At the North Pole, ALL directions are south. At the South Pole, all directions are north. Even if you assume their vantage point is some position away from the poles, the apparent direction of motion (n, e, w, or s) depends entirely on the actual location of their position of viewing. Since it isn’t stated, the direction they give is meaningless.

Jim Gorman
April 25, 2021 4:23 am

Even assuming the mass of water is sufficient to do this, where does the water go to change the mass balance? If I pump water from 150 ft. down, and irrigate with it, most of it will stay local, it doesn’t just disappear or go elsewhere. If it leaves the area, it’s kind of worthless to irrigate with it. The few 100 feet of displacement from under the surface to the surface just can’t cause this kind of mass shift.

ATheoK
Reply to  Jim Gorman
April 25, 2021 6:28 am

One suspects major errors in their assumptions of how displaced water leverages Earth’s rotation.

I can not fathom the amount of stated displaced water and that water’s physical phase change somehow affecting the spin of Earth’s thousands of miles of iron core…

Taking their claims seriously, whale, waterfowl, fish migrations or even civilization’s metal ships change the Earth’s rotational alignment. And every one of them is caused by CO₂.

Just more of AGU’s buffoons and climate goons on parade.

A cousin used a lathe to make a brass top. One that when spun, spun for a very long time before tumbling. According to AGU’s loons, a 0.01 graphic marker’s mark on the metal top would produce measurable/quantifiable spin change…

Last edited 1 month ago by ATheoK
FlaDiver
April 25, 2021 4:46 am

Time to realign the dish.

Jphn
April 25, 2021 5:09 am

A little man made stream runs by my property, it has done so for hundreds of years.

However lately with the benefit of aerial digital terrain analysis, the OS maps show a flow arrow that shows the stream flowing the wrong way!

At last I have an explanation.

ATheoK
April 25, 2021 5:15 am

Glacial melting due to global warming is likely the cause of a shift in the movement of the poles”

AGU takes anti-science confirmation bias and alarmist religion to new levels of planet mechanics and climate silliness.

Through presumptions, assumptions, pseudo science and aberrant religious belief AGU moves science back further into Dark Ages alchemy.

Andy Ogilvie
Reply to  ATheoK
April 25, 2021 8:22 am

I think I remember this from school, a loooong time ago. If I recall correctly the Earth’s axis moves over time. The word precession is nagging away from the back of my head? WTF is wrong with these clowns?

Mark - Helsinki
April 25, 2021 6:15 am

The fact they think this completely uncertain and extremely short correlation of one factor that is not even one of the primary factors of polar wander (never mind the unknowns!) is an analogue for global water loss for 170 years (not even reliable data) is hilarious.

So it works like this.
*Every primary factor’s effect on polar wander in 170 years will influence their water loss results because they cant separate the unknowns and the not understoods.

The same with dark matter, every undiscovered known type of matter source is attributed to dark matter because well something had to make up for all of the stuff we haven’t found yet…

Same with climate, every event of natural variability is now attributed to humans, no matter what it is. (I remember Holthaus was excited about hurricane Patricia, then when it blew over a few garden chairs, he and they switched to it was a “weird” hurricane), so destructive or not, climate change was at play..

The fact the correlation is that short should have meant it not being accepted imo

Rusty
April 25, 2021 6:52 am

It’s actually caused by the increase in population in the northern hemisphere. More people = more mass/weight means the top is heavier and therefore it wobbles.

It’s true I modelled it. /wink

Rich Davis
April 25, 2021 7:12 am

I’m confused, it’s not EurekAlert!?Charles found a source for nonsense even more ridiculous than EurekAlert!, is that possible?

Bruce Cobb
April 25, 2021 7:20 am

The once-revered AGU beclowns itself once again.

Olen
April 25, 2021 7:59 am

The butterfly effect. If man caused the change it is so small we wouldn’t notice. Good to know it is being studied.

2hotel9
April 25, 2021 8:35 am

Why would anyone take these,,,well, people, seriously?

DMacKenzie
April 25, 2021 9:19 am

Migrating geese are shifting the Earth’s axis as we speak….

Ferdberple
April 25, 2021 9:24 am

At scale, the earth’s crust is thinner than the skin of an apple. The amount of water or ice involved is only a small fraction of the crust.

One might as well look for orbital changes due to el nino or lunar cycles.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Ferdberple
April 25, 2021 1:43 pm

Hush. Don’t give them any more crackpot ideas to float!

Clyde Spencer
April 25, 2021 9:38 am

The faster ice melting under global warming was the most likely cause of the directional change of the polar drift in the 1990s, …

The movement of our axis of rotation is a combination of normal top-like precession, and the changes in the distribution of mass from melting ice and isostatic rebound. However, the recent changes are small compared to the historical past! See the attached graph.

The last glaciation started to wane almost 21 thousand years ago. The initial melt-water pulse from about 15,000 to 7,000 years ago was significantly greater and would have had a much greater change on the distribution of mass than what Earth has experienced in the last 7,000 years, let alone the last couple of decades. To put everything in perspective, nothing unusual with respect to melting has happened recently that can be uniquely attributed to industrialization, as evidenced by the change in sea level.

A noteworthy point is that in section 5 of the original article:
( https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020GL092114 )
they remark, “Accelerated ice melting in glacial areas cannot explain the entire polar drift in the 1990s, especially for peak‐to‐peak amplitudes.” They follow that up with, “Thus, polar motion is more sensitive to TWS [terrestrial water storage] changes in mid‐latitude areas than in other areas.” Therefore, this article is more about aquifer draw-down in agriculture, and perhaps the NASA documented greening of Earth from increased CO2, than it is about climate change or glacier melting.

For example, research has determined more recent movements of the North Pole away from Canada and toward Russia to be caused by factors like molten iron in the Earth’s outer core.

After reading the actual research article, I note that there is no mention of the outer core or magnetic pole movement. The reference to the impact of molten iron in the outer core refers to the wandering of the MAGNETIC pole, which is unrelated to the drift of the GEOGRAPHIC poles! While both are driven by the Earth’s rotation, they are different effects. This is a mix of limes and oranges. It appears that whoever prepared the AGU press release felt that they knew more than the authors of the research article.

The quality of science communicated by press releases continues its decline.

comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by Clyde Spencer
Jim Ross
April 25, 2021 9:54 am

Several commenters here are confusing this discussion with the movement of the magnetic poles. It seems to me that they are actually referring to the Chandler wobble, discovered in 1891:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandler_wobble

Jim Ross
Reply to  Jim Ross
April 25, 2021 10:15 am

Clyde, I agree with your observation – the press release itself appears to make the same error of mixing magnetic pole movement with changes in rotational axis. (I had not seen your comment when I submitted mine, but thanks for the link to the actual paper.)

Mark BLR
Reply to  Jim Ross
April 26, 2021 5:29 am

It seems to me that they are actually referring to the Chandler wobble, discovered in 1891

The IERS (/ “Observatoire de Paris”) website has the EOPC04 daily data from (1/1/)1962, projected as “X” and “Y” values in arc-seconds onto (essentially ? …) a “polar projection” grid [ something like “X = Distance (from the North Pole) along the 90°E meridian”, “Y = Distance along the 180° meridian” with each circle of latitude having a fixed radius ??? ].

The data I used was in the “C04 with Celestial Pole offsets (dX,dY) referred to IAU 2000 precession-nutation model” link (NB : a text file roughly 3.5MB in size !).

With 2 points at (X1, Y1) and (X2, Y2), the “distance” (in arc-seconds : 1 arc-minute on the Earth’s surface = 40000/(360 x 60) ~= 1.85 km, 1″ ~= 30 metres ?) between them can easily be calculated using Pythagoras.

Extracting just the data lines for the first of each month, calculating “distances” (in tenths of arc-seconds …) and plotting the results reveals a change to an “odd / distorted” behaviour regime since 2010.

Absolutely nothing around 1990 …

Mark BLR
Reply to  Mark BLR
April 26, 2021 5:40 am

Forgot to include plots …

EOPC04_X-and-Y_1.png
Mark BLR
Reply to  Mark BLR
April 26, 2021 5:41 am

… plural …

EOPC04_Distances_1.png
Gordon A. Dressler
April 25, 2021 9:57 am

From the above article, firstly: “. . .research has determined more recent movements of the North Pole away from Canada and toward Russia to be caused by factors like molten iron in the Earth’s outer core. Other shifts were caused in part by what’s called the terrestrial water storage change, the process by which all the water on land–including frozen water in glaciers and groundwater stored under our continents–is being lost through melting and groundwater pumping.

Then followed by this: “They found that the contributions of water loss from the polar regions is the main driver of polar drift, with contributions from water loss in nonpolar regions. Together, all this water loss explained the eastward change in polar drift.

Left unsaid: how the “researchers” were able to conclude that water loss from polar regions was more significant than shifting molten iron in Earth’s outer core in terms of causing polar drift.

Given the relative mass differences between these two factors, I’m betting on the molten iron shifting as the predominant cause.

ralfellis
April 25, 2021 10:10 am

Eh??
They seem to be talking about the magnetic pole. But the magnetic pole has nothing to do with the spin-axis of the Earth, which is relatively static.

And there is no way that oceanic cycles can effect the magnetic pole.

So what is this report talking about?

R

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  ralfellis
April 26, 2021 8:06 am

From the second paragraph of the above article:
The locations of the North and South poles aren’t static, unchanging spots on our planet. The axis Earth spins around–or more specifically the surface that invisible line emerges from–is always moving due to processes scientists don’t completely understand.” (my bold emphasis added). As you point out, this is different from a line that connects Earth’s north and south magnetic poles.

You mention the spin-axis of Earth being “relatively static”, which indeed it is. According to the Deng, et.al. [2021] GRL research letter that was referenced, but not linked, above (which is freely available at https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020GL092114 ),
polar motion observations show that the Earth’s spin axis drifted from January 1981 to June 2020 at a rate of about .003 seconds of arc per year. That’s relatively tiny, amounting to less than two-tenths of a degree-of-arc-change over 20 years.

Last edited 1 month ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Michael Jankowski
April 25, 2021 10:33 am

Totally ignoring earthquakes? The 2010 magnitude 8.8 quake in Chile supposedly had an effect of 3 inches alone.

Bill
April 25, 2021 10:45 am

The mass of Volcanic lava flows in the deep trenches and other active volcanic sites, has more effect on the spinning earth than the small increase in the water levels which spread everywhere. There is also the subduction of the earths plates. As those plates are melted the molten material will be added to the molten core of the earth.  It is funny how everyone blames the climate change on CO2 when these other activities are going with far greater mass. Money and politics really cloud the perspectives of these myopic scholars. 

Independent
April 25, 2021 11:21 am

I think this is the most preposterous thing I’ve ever heard attributed to global warming, and that is really saying something.

Ulric Lyons
April 25, 2021 11:36 am

Low indirect solar forcing driving a warm AMO phase since 1995. Real climate change, it happens every centennial solar minimum.

Shanghai Dan
April 25, 2021 3:33 pm

What about Guam? Does this make it more likely that Guam will capsize?

Jim G
April 25, 2021 5:18 pm

Now that we are able to measure something more precisely, we are able to detect smaller changes in that thing?

Isn’t that typically the case?

April 25, 2021 5:44 pm

It’s Stupid. That’s AGU!

Steve Z
April 26, 2021 8:34 am

Even if some gigatonnes (10^12 kg each) of ice were to melt and flow into the sea, that would only shift less than one part per trillion of the earth’s mass (about 6 x 10^24 kg). If the axis of rotation of the earth was changed, even by less than a second of arc, this would require a huge change in the angular momentum of the earth. A change in angular momentum requires a torque–where would this torque come from?

But, if we believe one of our genius Congressmen, if all the soldiers stood on one side of Guam, it might tip over.

April 28, 2021 10:26 am

But won’t that depend on how water distributes in oceans – ‘sloshing’ in the South Pacific-Indian ocean area for example, varying in year terms not decades? Winds being a factor.

Note the amount of melt is small, and some glaciers are growing.

Do volcanoes have much effect? Some spew huge amounts of ash, though breadth of distribution varies. (Mt. St. Helens ash drifted as far as Winnipeg MB, though largest depth of deposition was closer such as in Spokane WA (IIRC at least a quarter inch whereas Calgary AB was only a sixteenth). And mud went way downstream to the west. I don’t have perspective on how much mass that was. (That eruption blew the side off the mountain, IIRC mud resulted from the snow on its peak.) I suppose molten material, as common in Hawaii for example, does not travel far (there and especially from an underwater volcano the water quenches it soon).

JEHILL
April 29, 2021 7:45 pm

Just for the record, I predicted two to three years ago they were going to be making that claim on this very website

Last edited 1 month ago by JEHILL
Michael Rocereta
May 7, 2021 4:53 am

The authors are writing about the projection of the earth’s axis of rotation on the surface of the earth and the subsequent average annual movement of that point (Polar Motion) against a reference point established in 1900. Both the US Naval Observatory and the IERS track this movement and have been publishing data have published data tables going back to about 1890. 

The authors make it sound like there was little or no polar motion movement relative to the earth’s crust before AGW, then suddenly the poles moved 4 meters because of AGW. Polar motion relative to the earth’s crust has been measured since at least 1900 and occurs at an average rate of 0.10 m per year. There are also higher frequency wobbles, the Chandler wobble (9 meters per 433 days) and other nutations (higher frequency excitations that diminish with time) which must be removed from the annual positional time series to get an average annular polar shift.

SO if we look at the annual average movement of the axis of rotation of the poles since 1900 what do we see?

From McCarthy et al, 1996:
Historical sources of polar motion (1900-1990) are analyzed together with modern data in order to compile a set of coordinates of the mean pole in a reference system consistent with that of the International Earth Rotation Service. The trend and quasi‐periodic motion of the pole are investigated, and we find that the rotational pole appears to be moving at the rate of 0.333 arcsec century−1.”

An arcsec converts to about 98 feet on the earth’s surface, then .333 arcsec per century equals about 32.6 feet per century or about 10 meters per century or about 1 meter per decade.

If you look at plots of the polar position over time 1900-1990 (see US Naval Observatory, GJI 125, 623-629) you will find that annual Polar Motion can be close to zero (or even negative) in some years or as much as 25 cm (~8 mas) in other years.  The accuracy of the 1900-1980 optical measurements were +/- 6 cm in any one year (Robertson and Carter 1985) relative to the original reference point and the measurement errors therefore are not cumulative. After AGW, according to the article, the pole moved about 4 meters in 40 years, or at an average rate of 0.1 meter per year, so I see little or no deviation in the average velocity of Polar Motion over the past century using the complete time series.  They use a small subset of the years to calculate their claimed acceleration (1982-95). Why did they not use the 1900-2000 average of 0.1 m per year (based on 10 meters +/- 0.06 meters per 100 years)? I suspect because it did not indicate a significant deviation.  

Clearly, as the authors state,  the direction of movement appears to have changed around 1995-2005 (but probably about 2005-see also Chen et al 2013 Fig 2) and the authors propose it was caused by AGW. We know other natural events cause changes in the rate and direction of Polar Motion, some are internal to the earth’s mantle, some are due to surface changes in water or ice distribution and some are caused by episodic events (earthquakes and meteor impacts). 

So that leads us to an important question:

Does the plot of Polar Motion since 1900 show other similar directional deviations pre AGW? And the answer is yes, (see US Naval Observatory, GJI 125, 623-629). In the period 1931-1949 there was a 70 mas (+/- 2 mas) change to the east about the same as we see from 2000-2012 (as seen in Chen et al 2013). 

So the deviation described in the article appears within the historical (since 1900) natural variation of the polar rotation position changes seen pre-AGW. Current workers discard these earlier estimates of polar motion because they were measured with optical instruments and not measured with the more sophisticated modern laser range finding equipment and GPS geodesy in use since 1980. The accuracy of the satellite measurements is reported to be +/-1mm, the optical devices +/-60 mm.
 
In conclusion, based on published data, the RATE of polar position movement (Polar Motion) has not changed significantly when compared to the 1900-2000 average. The direction of movement changed in 2000-2005 but has historical precedent before AGW. Similar changes occurred in 1931-1949, 1910-1917 and 1964-1975.  If natural forces other than AGW have caused similar directional deviations in the past how can we be certain this deviation was not caused by natural forces other than AGW?  

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