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We know climate change is a real thing, but it turns out our climate isn't the only thing changing.
The gravity of our planet is changing too.
Hey guys, Amy here for DNews.
Gravity is pretty neat; it’s the force that stops us from floating off the planet.
But it’s not a constant, uniform force.
The strength of gravity actually varies very slightly at different points on the globe because of things like the planet’s rotation, the existence of mountains, and deep ocean trenches.
And it turns out that the Earth’s gravitational environment isn't constant in its variety,either.
According to data from the European Space Agency’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite,
the loss of polar ice to climate change is affecting the gravitational environment.
The melting ice in question is the Antarctic ice sheet.
The largest mass of ice on Earth, it covers more than 8.5 million square miles and contains around 90 percent of the Earth’s fresh water.
Scientists looking at the ice sheet often divide it into catchment basins to better understand how the ice in each basin changes and discharges into the ocean,
and it turns out to be quite a bit.
Ice loss to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has increased by a factor of three on a yearly basis since 2009.
The combined loss of ice between 2009 and 2012 caused a noticeable dip in the gravity field over this region.
Between 2011 and 2014, Antarctica has shrunk by more than four million cubic feet.
And the loss of ice means the area is becoming less dense, and that means that the pull of gravity is slightly less strong in the region than it once was.
But it’s not like you’re going to float off the planet if you get too close to the Antarctic Peninsula,
though you might weigh slightly less.
Still, it’s pretty significant that climate is actually affecting the gravity on our planet.
So, what do you think?
Is losing a little weight in a specific part of the globe worth the damage to the climate?
Let us know in the comments, and for more DNews every day of the week don’t forget to subscribe.
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Climate Change Is Affecting Earth’s Gravity!

15605 Folder Collection
彭彥婷 published on October 7, 2014    彭彥婷 translated    Sunny Hsu reviewed
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