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Earth Science

Earth's Orbit Reshapes Sea Floor 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the shape-of-things dept.
sciencehabit writes "Earth's orbital variations—the wobbling and nodding of the planet on its rotational axis and the rhythmic elongation of the shape of its orbit—can affect the shape of the sea floor, according to new research. Scientists already knew that orbital variations, which are driven by gravitational interactions among solar system bodies, pace the comings and goings of the ice ages by shifting where sunlight falls on Earth. Now, researchers have shown in a computer model that those pressure variations should vary the amount of mantle rock that melts kilometers beneath midocean ridges. That, in turn, would vary the amount of ocean crust that solidifies from the melted rock, changing the thickness of new crust by as much as a kilometer as it slides down either side of a midocean ridge. And the group found that indeed, on the Juan de Fuca Ridge offshore of the Pacific Northwest, the ocean floor is grooved like a vinyl LP record in time with Earth's orbital variations of the past million years."
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Earth's Orbit Reshapes Sea Floor

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  • by EvilSS (557649)
    How can I use this to continue to deny global warming is caused by man? Cable-news fed minds want to know!
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      That's easy, you take the holy word of the IPCC unto thyself and join it's church.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by oodaloop (1229816)
        On the one side is the overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists (97% agree with anthropogenic climate change) who have repeatedly gone back and re-evaluated the data with the same conclusion, and on the other are people who want to keep consuming and polluting to their heart's delight with nary shred of scientific evidence to back up their claims that everything is hunky dory. Which side sounds more like a church again?
        • by arpad1 (458649)

          I'm a bit unclear on how this scientific consensus works.

          What if the percentage of the world's climate scientists who agree with anthropogenic global warming were lower? Would they still be right? Say, if the percentage were 50%? Would that still establish anthropogenic global warming as scientifically valid?

          Where's the cut-off exactly?

          • by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @10:07AM (#45787379)
            A 50/50 split would give me pause for concern. I'd have to wonder if we really knew what what was going on. 50% on one side, with the remaining 50% split among 30 competing theories would be slightly better, but I'd still be cautious. An overwhelming majority (97% in this case) leads to me be believe that we're on the right track. I look at it this way. There's a right answer out there somewhere. Did 97% miss the mark, and some tiny minority actually figure it out? It's not that they all agree that makes it right, it's that there's so little argument over the big picture: we're contributing to climate change. Frankly, I don't see how we could cut down the number of trees we are and NOT affect the climate, just from that, but hey what do I know?
            • by Anonymous Coward

              link [forbes.com]

              You are then a denier. The 97% figure is a lie, it creates positions for scientists that don't exist. The link shows how when scientists who are part of that 97% agreed, they said they did not.

              Don't repeat lies that EVERYONE else knows is a lie.

            • by CODiNE (27417)

              It's like peeing in a pool. A few kids do it and nobody notices... but once EVERYBODY is doing it you'll want to stay out of that water.

              I guess the denialists have larger pools than most of us.

        • by blindseer (891256)

          I can make a simplistic, and wrong, false dichotomy too. On one hand we have the watermelons, green environmentalists on the outside but red communists on the inside. They don't want to save the environment as much as make government bigger so they can tell us what kind of light bulbs and toilets we can buy. These are busybodies that like to tell other people what to do because they think they are the smartest people on Earth.

          On the other hand we have the actually smart people. We have people that just

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When in the hell will I actually see an on-topic comment?

    • You take the 17 year pause in global warming and then you look at how many of those 97% of scientists predicted it, and then you come to the conclusion that maybe people don't know all the thousands of variables and calculations needed to be so certain. No need to consider orbital variations when you have actual data and predictions that didn't come true to work with.

      • You're a year or two ahead of schedule on your talking point. You're always supposed to say there's been no global warming for (YYYY-1998) years, where YYYY is the current year. The fact that 1998 was considerably warmer than both 1997 and 1999 has nothing to do with this, of course--it's just a coincidence that you're supposed to use that particular year as the baseline. Right now you're supposed to say there's been no global warming for 15 years. Since it's almost 2014, I suppose you could push things

  • It should be:

    "Global warming: Is it making the Earth softer?"
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412)

      Its a very sad state in the world that any article - even those who not even talk about global warmning - get dragged into that flame war by the deniers.

      • by srussia (884021)

        Its a very sad state in the world that any article - even those who not even talk about global warmning - get dragged into that flame war by the deniers.

        The obligatory http://xkcd.com/1022/ [xkcd.com] would have sufficed.

      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        Its a very sad state in the world that any article - even those who not even talk about global warmning - get dragged into that flame war by the deniers.

        So you're saying that the sarcasm-dripping very first post under this article by EvilSS...

        The Big Question Is...

        How can I use this to continue to deny global warming is caused by man? Cable-news fed minds want to know!

        ...Was a "denier" post?

        Do you have a pair of the peril-sensitive as well as the reality-distorting type?

        And most humorous of all, a post that is pure flamebait and just plain wrong is modded "+5 Insightful"?

        Priceless.

        And people wonder why the aliens haven't made contact.

        Strat

      • Its a very sad state in the world that any article - even those who not even talk about global warmning - get dragged into that flame war by the deniers.

        I think sarcasm would be more appropriate then denier. You know, humor.

        Of course it could also be a reaction to past performances of science chicken little prognostications.

  • Story at 11 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2013 @07:01AM (#45786849)

    The article is a little short on details. It's actually completely missing any details whatsoever. As far as we know this is nothing but wild speculation, it could just as easily be said that they are the result of an impact event or the remains of a giant alien LP record that got melted into the crust.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ... the remains of a giant alien LP record that got melted into the crust.

      Whatever you do, DO NOT PLAY IT BACKWARDS!

    • by cellocgw (617879)

      it could just as easily be said that they are the result of an impact event or the remains of a giant alien LP record that got melted into the crust.

      There's no chance of that: aliens never bothered to go past 78s. However, we do know that the undulations are a part of the work of the Trafalmadorian robot on Titan, and had we been able to place a large-enough tonearm and stylus, we could have received his message without having to travel all the way to Titan.

    • by PPH (736903)

      a giant alien LP record

      This might explain Louie Louie and why Washington State nearly voted to make it the state song.

  • So while this researcher's theories are new and different, how does this information help us as humans? Can we now predict the next ice age? Is there something we can do to change Earth's perturbations?

    • What they've done is found another source of historical data that may be able to shed light on things we haven't yet been able to figure out. For instance, large impacts (say from meteorites) could possibly cause enough of a change in these "grooves" to give us more accurate time-lines of things like the end of the dinosaurs. Tectonic plate activity may also be recorded in the grooves. And I'm sure some very smart person in the future will study these grooves and discover something nobody had even considere
  • let's digiize (sped up of course) that groove the same way people scan and digitize LP records, let's hear what the Sun sounds like to Earth

1: No code table for op: ++post

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