Does extracting oil and gas affect the way the world spins?

22 January 2006

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Question

We've been removing gas and oil through the surface of the Earth for hundreds of years. Would this have any effect on the stability of the Earth, and would it maybe even effect the speed at which we spin through space?

Answer

I think the problem is that it sounds like an incredible amount, but if you actually weigh that amount up with the weight of the entire globe, then it's an incredibly small amount. You're looking at something that's the size of a pin head compared to the entire volume of the Earth. So I think the answer is no, it's much less than you might think.

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