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Rotation Of Earth's Core Gives Insight Into Global Sea-Level Rise

Update Date: Dec 15, 2015 09:31 AM EST
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By examining the earth's core and past changes in sea levels, scientists are hoping to arrive at accurate predictions of the earth's climate changes, 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 team probed the speed of rotation, and discovered that melting glaciers enhance sea levels and also shifts mass from the pole to the equator, which actually reduces the speed of the rotation.

With the moon's gravitational pull, the rotation gets slowed down even further, said the researchers.

Dumberry, an expert scientist investigating changes in the earth's rotation, said that "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."

With the earth's rotation getting slower, the length of the day increases gradually. In another century from now, a day's length will increase by 1.7 milliseconds. While that sounds like a minute change, it "accumulates over time", according to Dumberry.

By the end of the 21st century, their predictions will be validated, say the scientists.

"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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