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How Long Can You Tread Water?
By Ernest Stewart

"The solar day is gradually getting longer because Earth's rotation is slowing down ever so slightly. At the time of the dinosaurs, Earth completed one rotation in about 23 hours. In the year 1820, a rotation took exactly 24 hours, or 86,400 standard seconds. Since 1820, the mean solar day has increased by about 2.5 milliseconds."
~~~ Dr. Daniel MacMillan ~ Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center ~~~

I see where a new study in the journal Scientific Reports estimates that melting ice will cause sea levels to rise 2 feet within the next 70 years, and a whopping 8 feet by the year 2200. Scientists believe sea levels will most likely continue to rise until the sea is 25 to 30 feet higher than it is today, wiping many coastal cities and island nations completely off the map. You may recall what Hurricane Sandy did to the New York area. Sandy caused a record 14.41 foot storm surge at Battery Park, New York City, flooding various parts of Lower Manhattan, including various tunnels and subway systems, making them inoperable for weeks. Add to that another 2 foot of sea depth, and you have a disaster like none before. By the time Sandy hit NYC, it was barely a force 1. Now imagine what a force 5 hurricane like Katrina (the one that hit New Orleans) would do!

Worryingly, these estimates are based on the assumption that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will remain at the 400 parts per million level they are at today. If they rise significantly beyond this point, the long-term results could be even more catastrophic; the current pace of sea level rise is already twice as fast as any other historical period between ice ages.

There is a (slight) silver lining to the study's findings, however; no matter how quickly the Earth's ice sheets are decaying now, the pace is unlikely to increase significantly even if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise; instead, sea levels will simply continue to rise over a longer period of time. Since the oceans are likely to change over the course of generations, rather than just a few short years, it'll be slightly easier for people in low-lying and coastal areas to plan any long-term infrastructure changes that may be needed -- except, of course, in states like North Carolina, where it's illegal for any state employee to bring up oceanrise under penalty of law; so the people of North Carolina and those off-shore islands can pretty much put their heads between their legs and kiss their asses goodbye!

As global warming continues to affect the planet, rising sea levels are just one of the visible consequences. Yes, folks, there's more! Scientists studying the Earth's core recently announced that changing sea levels are actually slowing down the Earth's rotation! I'm going to repeat that again for those of you on drugs!

No rotation, no gravity!

A study published in Science Advances this month investigated different contributors to both rising sea levels and a slowing down of the Earth's rotation. It turns out that, over the past 3000 years, the Earth's core has been speeding up while the mantle-crust (where we live) has been slowing down. One mechanism at play is the melting of our planet's glaciers: as the polar water melts, it's drawn toward the equator, ch slowing down Earth's rotation -- much like a figure skater lowering his or her arms from up high.

Mathieu Dumberry, one of the study's authors and professor at the University of Alberta, says that, "...this gradual slowing of the Earth's rotation will eventually make our days longer. In about a century, each day will be about 1.7 milliseconds longer, which may not seem like much, but it blows the mind to think that something as massive as our planet is slowing down within a few of our generations." The authors hope their studies will encourage others to continue research into these findings and to develop useful interventions for coastal regions facing devastation by the planet's rising waters. Is this important, America? Ask yourself this, "How long can I tread water?"


04-23-1956 ~ 10-21-2016
Thanks for the laughs!

10-11-1939 ~ 10-23-2016
Thanks for fighting the good fight!

04-30-1943 ~ 10-24-2016
Thanks for the music!

02-27-1957 ~ 10-25-2016
Thanks for the scripts!


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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 44 (c) 10/28/2016