As the North Pole moves Global Warming is already be blamed. But is this climate change or an unknown factor in the Chandler Wobble?
The North Pole moving is being blamed on global warming by scientists who noted the average change in the Chandler Wobble markedly increased around 2005 from 6 cm to roughly 21 cm.
The North Pole moves on a regular annual basis, shifting southeast at a rate of about 6 centimeters every 433 days between 1982 and 2005 as measured. The North Pole moving is called the Chandler Wobble, named after the American astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler in 1891. The reason the North Pole moves is because the Earth is essentially a spinning sphere that is irregularly shaped, thus it wobbles.
The Chandler Wobble is thought to be the result of the changes in pressure at the bottom of the oceans caused by fluctuations in salinity, temperature, and ocean circulation. Seasonal variations will cause large amounts of water to shift position.
The North Pole moving is being blamed on the Greenland ice sheet melting. On the other side of the planet, the Antarctic is also melting while sea ice around Antarctica has been growing, reaching a record extent in the winter of 2010, so ice growth might be part of the explanation as well. One of the earlier claims about global warming said that warming oceans would cause rising oceans over the next century, causing slow disasters for coastal areas. But scientists were confronted by another paradox when they discovered that since 2002/2003 the oceans have been cooling, yet they are still rising.
The hypothesis that global warming is causing the North Pole moves beyond the normal is problematic if you consider the history of the Chandler Wobble. The 2005 North Pole phase change move is being blamed on global warming. If that’s the case, then what accounts for a similar North Pole move to the Chandler Wobble in 1920 and 1850? If you look at global temperature averages, we are cooler than in the 1930s and several recent years, including the years around 2005, are below 1900. In fact, since 1997 the global temperature peaks were in 1997 and 2006, with 2005 being in the middle while 2000 saw the biggest dip.
As the North Pole moves, do you think we should blame global warming or look for another factor affecting the Chandler Wobble?