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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 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?

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.