Sunday, March 13, 2011
Japan's earthquake changed the mass distribution of Earth
To appreciate the awesome power of plate-tectonics, look no further than the data that show the entire island of Japan moved nearly 3 meters to the east as a result of the 9.0 earthquake. Additionally, because of the redistribution of mass, the Earth is spinning on it's axis 1.2microseconds faster than before the quake. A microsecond is 1millionth of a second, so it's not that big a deal, but still, any change in the Earth's distribution of mass because of naturally occurring phenomena is a sobering reminder of how insignificant we humans are. We're basically along for the ride and have absolutely no control whatsoever in our destiny, despite the silly pleadings of dumb environmentalists.