Rotation Of Earth's Core Helps Scientists Understand Global Sea-Level Rise

First Posted: Dec 14, 2015 04:15 PM EST

A team of scientists have decided to study past changes in sea levels so that they can make accurate predictions of future climate changes. They are examining the Earth's core to make these predictions, according to a study at the University of Alberta.

"In order to fully understand the sea-level change that has occurred in the past century, we need to understand the dynamics of the flow in Earth's core," Professor Mathieu Dumberry, a physics expert and coauthor of the study, said in a news release.

The researchers examined the change in the speed of earth's rotation. They found that water from melting glaciers not only increases sea level, but it moves mass from the pole to the equator, which slows down the rotation. The moon's gravitational pull acts like a lever, which also slows down the rotation, according to the researchers. Apart from these factors, the Earth's core also plays a role. Dumberry is one of the few people in the world to investigate changes in the Earth's rotation, where he applies his expertise on the Earth's core-mantle.

"Over the past 3000 years, the core of the Earth has been speeding up a little, and the mantle-crust on which we stand is slowing down," Dumberry said.

As a result, the Earth's rotation become slow, thus the length of the days gradually increases. The researchers predict that a century from now, the length of a day will increase by 1.7 milliseconds. It may not seem like much, however, it accumulates over time, according to Dumberry.

By gathering data on varying discrepancies, the researchers are confident about their predictions on rising sea levels by the end of the 21st century.

"This can help to better prepare coastal towns, for example, to cope with climate change," Dumberry said.

The findings of this study were published in the journal Science Advances.

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