Daily Archives: March 2, 2010

Chilean Earthquake Alters Earth’s Axis, Shortens Days

Earthquakes are not weather-related, in fact it’s the opposite—some weather events occur because of earthquakes, but I was fascinated by the above headline that MSN published today. Here is part of the news article:

“The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth’s rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday. The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

“The computer model used by Gross and his colleagues to determine the effects of the Chile earthquake effect also found that it should have moved Earth’s figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm or 27 milliarcseconds).” For the whole story, click here.

Key word being “should”, nevertheless this is truly an amazing story. While 3 inches and 1.26 milliseconds seem like small measurements, in the grand scheme of things it is pretty significant. Think about it: one earthquake has shortened the time we have each day, even if it’s only by 1.26 milliseconds. All the more reason to not waste time, because it’s slipping away…literally!

And now all eyes for a major earthquake are in the Pacific Northwest. Why? Really not for any reason other than the Earth has been very active lately, and the Pacific Northwest is a hot spot for earthquake activity with a dangerous fault line running right through downtown Seattle that is capable of triggering an earthquake 9.0 or larger, worst case scenario of course.

Though according to some scientists we are due for an earthquake in the near future, disaster would be much less devastating compared to the Haitian earthquake primarily because of the more sophisticated building codes we have here.

Please continue to keep those affected by the Haiti and Chile earthquakes in your prayers. There’s a lot of rebuilding to be done! Also, remember to be productive each day. You never know when another 1.26 milliseconds (or more!) gets knocked off the clock.

Have a great evening,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com