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IPFS News Link • Climate Change

Another day in Climate mythology: coal fired plants are slowing Earths rotation

•, By Jo Nova

Instead of talking about 30 year trends (because they were wrong), the experts started coloring weather maps blood red and hyperventilating with every warm weekend. So it makes perfect sense they need the ritual reminders of holy mythology, and this is one of those stories. It's the weekly nod for the awestruck fanatics that the world really does revolve around "climate change". They can nod solemnly, and pat each others solar panels.

The theory is that because our showers are too long or our beef steaks are too big (don't you feel important?), the poles are melting  and some ice near the poles has dribbled out to the equator, slowing the planet's spin. Since the Earth is a rotating ball of rock 10,000 kilometers across, the movements of a few millimeters of water on the surface are somewhat minor. But nevermind. So the dire news, such as it isn't, is that the Earth's clocks might have to be wound back by one whole second in 2026.

Someone will do a cost-benefit analysis soon on whether spending a quadrillion dollars can prevent this.

The drama here is that this is something has never been done before, at least since clocks were invented, five minutes ago in Earth's geological history. The ice has, of course come and gone many times all of its own accord, and clocks have leapt forward one second 27 times since the 1970s, but this is the epochal moment that you can tell your grandchildren about — the day the Earth started slowing, and you were there! (Nobody mention that dinosaurs only had 23 hours in a day, no wonder they went extinct. Let's obsess about a second, instead!)

In a not-so-great moment in modern science communication the BBC manages to say everything and nothing all at once:

Accelerating melt from Greenland and Antarctica is adding extra water to the world's seas, redistributing mass.

That is very slightly slowing the Earth's rotation. But the planet is still spinning faster than it used to.

The effect is that global timekeepers may need to subtract a second from our clocks later than would otherwise have been the case.

Got that? So climate change is delaying the great negative leap second. Wait?