changing the earths rotation.

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changing the earths rotation.
« on: 06/10/2007 07:37:12 »
If everyone in the southern hemesphere moved to the north, would this change in weight distribution alter the earth's rotation? Do those massive cargo ships, moving vast weights around have any effect?


Offline DoctorBeaver

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changing the earths rotation.
« Reply #1 on: 06/10/2007 08:34:33 »
The Earth weighs approximately 6*1024Kg. I can't imagine the weight of ships moving around would have much effect on it.

As for people, there are approx 6.5 billion of them. There are a lot more thin people than fat, plus more young people & babies, so let's say the average person weighs 35Kg and round things up a bit to get a figure for the total weight of people of 2.3*1010Kg.

The northern hemisphere is already vastly more populated than the southern, so the weight transferred would be in the region of 2.3*104Kg. I don't think it would make a lot of difference. Tides probably shift more weight than that.

Bear in mind that my assumptions could be wide of the mark, but I don't think they'd be erroneous enough to make a great deal of difference.
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Offline syhprum

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changing the earths rotation.
« Reply #2 on: 06/10/2007 09:13:00 »
I think that the largest contributer to the very small changes in the Earths rate of rotation is the movement high and low pressure systems in the atmosphere.


Offline Ophiolite

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changing the earths rotation.
« Reply #3 on: 06/10/2007 18:01:53 »
Recall that the Asian tsunami of three or four years ago (or rather the quake associated with it) is believed to have minutely altered the rotation of the Earth.
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