Friday, May 31, 2024

What would happen if the Earth stopped rotating?

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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It all depends on whether the Earth's rotation will stop gradually or immediately – in either case, the consequences for life will be catastrophic. If the stop was gradual, the centrifugal force would decrease as the speed of rotation slowed: so the oceans would not be pushed back towards the equatorial region.

However, the planet has an elliptical shape due to its long history of rotation: it is slightly oblate at the poles, where gravity is slightly greater. The seas would therefore migrate thither more or less violently and separate into two polar oceans. “Days, for their part, will not last 24 hours, but 6 months. Christian Bezoard, an astronomer at…Paris Observatory. There will only be two seasons: one frozen and one burning. “ In the long term, our planet will suffer huge earthquakes caused by its deformation: when the rotation stops, it will abandon its elliptical shape and take on the shape of a perfect sphere.

This is all very violent… but it's nothing compared to what awaits us in a sudden stop. The speed of our planet's rotation ranges from 0 km/h at the poles to 1,700 km/h at the equator, and the Earth's kinetic energy at each latitude is transferred to what is on its surface: all living things and objects (not attached). The outer poles will then be projected into Straight line east!

Buildings will be torn from their foundations, countless tsunami waves several kilometers high will destroy coastlines… In short, microscopic life on our planet will find itself on the verge of extinction in an instant!

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