It doesn’t take much to get me going down a rabbit hole for facts. I’m on the hunt now, I’m on the trail. Harper’s published a factoid in their current issue’s Index which said:
Distance, in feet, by which the Earth’s axis of spin has shifted since 1899: 34
Estimated percentage of that shift that is due to climate change: 40
—Harper’s Index, Dec 2018
Thirty-four feet? Really? How do they know that? I do understand that climate change is occurring, however I also like to understand the facts behind statements. How do they know it’s due to climate change?
Start With the Wobble
First, we have to visualize the earth spinning on an axis and having a wobble.
No, not that kind of Wobble.
Start with the earth. It leans. What does lean mean? It is a matter of perspective. For example, many of us have been brought up to believe that north is up:
But, in fact, there’s no reason to view the world that way. People who happen to be standing in Antarctica don’t stand on their heads. From their point of view, the world map would look like this: