[tz] Earth's day lengthens by two milliseconds a century
eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Thu Dec 8 20:43:26 UTC 2016
Thanks for the heads-up; I installed the attached patch into the
When this news was published in today's Los Angeles Times, commenters
jumped on the story and said that the math was all wrong, and that a
7-hour error after 2500 years cannot possibly be caused by an increase
of the length-of-day by an average of 1.8 ms/century (i.e., 18
μ/s//year). The amusing thing wasn't merely that the commenters were
scientifically illiterate: it was that they were sure they were right,
that the "liberal" media were wrong, and that this had something to do
with global warming being a hoax.
For what it's worth, the only paper I found on the subject of
human-caused global warming's effect on the length-of-day estimated an
increase on the order of 1 μ/s//year, mostly due to an increase in the
estimated mean zonal wind between 10–60 degrees of latitude. See:
de Viron O, Dehant V, Goosse H, Crucifix M. Effect of global warming on
the length-of-day. Geophys Res Lett 2002 Apr 12;29(7):50-1–4.
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