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> Can a change if the Earths axis affect climate ?, What do you think ?
2007cobalt
post Jan 8 2011, 12:25 PM
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I did random search on the internet , " Change in the Earths axis " , as I went through the results I seen some claims that there has been changes by things like Nuclear testing and earthquakes. Im not citing any specific resources for the information , since anyone doing the search should pull up the same results and Im not going to quote anything. I used the search feature on these forums to see if there is a similar thread before posting this and it brought up only one astronomy thread that was not very specific. If I am wrong or did the search wrong then please accept my apologies and remove this thread. A person does not need to be a scientist or expert to realize how something like the earths axis or angle to the sun could change our weather and climate drastically. And because of the scale , even a change that was barely detectable or may not even be detectable at all , or measureable , over the course of years if not decades could have an ever increasing change on our climate. Has this been discussed in here before that Im not aware of ?
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TheMaineMan
post Jan 8 2011, 01:17 PM
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Yes, but this is like a 10,000 year cycle.


--------------------
Average snowfall: 81 inches
2007-2008 snowfall: 102 inches
2008-2009 snowfall: 71 inches
2009-2010 snowfall: 47 inches
2010-2011 snowfall: 99.5 inches
2011-2012 snowfall: 58.5 inches
2012-2013 snowfall: 78 inches
2013-2014 snowfall so far: 40 inches

Coldest temp of 2013-2014 winter so far: -15 F


Total snowfall 2013-2014 season:
October: None
November: 1 inch
December: 31 inches
January: 8 inches
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Sagebrusher
post Jan 8 2011, 01:19 PM
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Axial tilt does change over time in a natural cycle, and it does change the climate...I am surprised your search did not find this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_....28obliquity.29

And this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_Forcing

This post has been edited by Sagebrusher: Jan 8 2011, 01:21 PM
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Travis S.
post Jan 8 2011, 01:35 PM
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The tilt of Earth's axis DOES affect Earth's climate. I think we've talked about it on the old Global Warming blog before it moved here to the forums. Two of the three Milankovitch Cycles deal with the tilt and direction of Earth on its axis contribute to changes in climate, and are (along with the changes in the eccentricity of Earth's orbit) a major factor in the timing of Earth's Ice Ages. Right now, Earth's axis is tilted at about 23.4 degrees from vertical, and that tilt is responsible for our seasons.

Less of a tilt would result in less pronounced seasons (because the sun's energy would be distributed more constantly at each latitude) and therefore more favorable conditions for an ice age. More of a tilt would mean more pronounced seasons because the amount of energy reaching a certain latitude would depend more greatly on the time of year; we'd have colder winters, but hotter summers, which overall would tend to favor less overall ice (yes, we'd get more ice in the winter, but it would also be more likely to melt in the summer). This whole process talked about 41,000 years to complete.

The changing direction of the tilt, called precession, also affects climate. On its own, it wouldn't necessarily have an impact, but since Earth's orbit isn't quite circular, it's a bigger deal than it would be otherwise. Right now, Earth is closest to the sun during the Southern Hemisphere's summer. Since the Southern Hemisphere is mostly ocean, it does not have as much as an immediate impact as it could (the oceans absorb most of the extra energy and release it more slowly/evenly than land would--that's why Earth's average global temperature is warmest during the NH summer rather than the SH summer, even though we're closer to the sun during the SH summer). Similarly, since that's Northern Hemisphere's winter, that means our winters up here don't get as cold as they could.

However, slowly over the next 13,000 years, precession will cause the timing to switch so that the Southern Hemisphere's winter and the Northern Hemisphere's summer will occur when Earth is closer to the sun. Since the Northern Hemisphere has a much greater proportion of land than the Southern Hemisphere, air temperatures in the north will rise higher than they do during summer today (and presumably get colder during the winter months for the same reason). The whole cycle completes itself in roughly 26,000 years.

So yes, Earth's axis DOES affect climate, but over thousands of year spans, not years or decades.

If I was to make a list of natural impacts on Earth's climate, it would look something like this:

Long-term scale (thousands of years): Milankovitch Cycles (a mix of 100,000, 41,000, and 26,000 intervals)
Century scale: large-scale fluctuations in solar activity
Decadal scale: Ocean and atmospheric oscillations like the PDO, AMO, etc
Near-term scale: 11-year solar cycles, El Nino/La Nina, Arctic Oscillation, major volcanic eruptions, seasons

I've probably missed some things, but that gives you an idea.
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Sagebrusher
post Jan 8 2011, 01:51 PM
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Wow, Travis, you post sounds like a college paper I did on the Milankovitch cycles tongue.gif
Here is something interesting I found on wiki, apparently the climate can affect the axis, ever so slightly, that is...

The Chandler wobble is a small motion in the Earth's axis of rotation relative to the Earth's surface, which was discovered by American astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler in 1891. It amounts to 20 feet (9 meters) on the Earth's surface and has a period of 433 days. This wobble combines with another wobble with a period of one year so that the total polar motion varies with a period of about 7 years. The Chandler wobble is an example of the kind of motion that can occur for a spinning object that is not a sphere; this is called a free nutation. Somewhat confusingly, the direction of the Earth's spin axis relative to the stars also varies with different periods, and these motions (caused by the tidal attraction of the Moon and Sun) are also called nutations, except for the slowest, which is the precession of the equinoxes.

The existence of a free nutation of the Earth was predicted by Isaac Newton in Corollaries 20 to 22 of Proposition 66, Book 1 of the Philosophić Naturalis Principia Mathematica, and by Leonhard Euler in 1755 as part of his studies of the dynamics of rotating bodies. Based on the known flattening of the Earth he predicted that it would have a period of 305 days. Several astronomers searched for motions with this period, but none were found. Chandler's contribution was to look for motions at any possible period; once the Chandler wobble was observed, the difference between its period and the one predicted by Euler was explained (by Simon Newcomb) as being caused by the non-rigidity of the Earth. The full explanation for the period also involves the fluid nature of the Earth's core and oceans: the wobble in fact produces a very small ocean tide with an amplitude of c. 6 mm, the pole tide, which is the only tide not caused by extraterrestrial bodies. Despite the small amplitude, the gravitational effect of the pole tide is easily detected by the superconducting gravimeter (see e.g. Fig. 2.3 in Virtanen 2006).[1]

To measure the wobble, the International Latitude Observatories were established in 1899. (The wobble is also called the variation of latitude.) These provided data on the Chandler and annual wobble for most of the 20th century, though they were eventually superseded by other methods of measurement. Monitoring of the polar motion is now done by the International Earth Rotation Service.

The wobble's amplitude has varied since its discovery, reaching its largest size in 1910 and fluctuating noticeably from one decade to another. While it has to be maintained by changes in the mass distribution or angular momentum of the Earth's outer core, atmosphere, oceans, or crust (from earthquakes), for a long time the actual source was unclear, since no available motions seemed to be coherent with what was driving the wobble. On 18 July 2000, however, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that "the principal cause of the Chandler wobble is fluctuating pressure on the bottom of the ocean, caused by temperature and salinity changes and wind-driven changes in the circulation of the oceans."[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandler_wobble


QUOTE(Travis S. @ Jan 8 2011, 02:35 PM) *
The tilt of Earth's axis DOES affect Earth's climate. I think we've talked about it on the old Global Warming blog before it moved here to the forums. Two of the three Milankovitch Cycles deal with the tilt and direction of Earth on its axis contribute to changes in climate, and are (along with the changes in the eccentricity of Earth's orbit) a major factor in the timing of Earth's Ice Ages. Right now, Earth's axis is tilted at about 23.4 degrees from vertical, and that tilt is responsible for our seasons.

Less of a tilt would result in less pronounced seasons (because the sun's energy would be distributed more constantly at each latitude) and therefore more favorable conditions for an ice age. More of a tilt would mean more pronounced seasons because the amount of energy reaching a certain latitude would depend more greatly on the time of year; we'd have colder winters, but hotter summers, which overall would tend to favor less overall ice (yes, we'd get more ice in the winter, but it would also be more likely to melt in the summer). This whole process talked about 41,000 years to complete.

The changing direction of the tilt, called precession, also affects climate. On its own, it wouldn't necessarily have an impact, but since Earth's orbit isn't quite circular, it's a bigger deal than it would be otherwise. Right now, Earth is closest to the sun during the Southern Hemisphere's summer. Since the Southern Hemisphere is mostly ocean, it does not have as much as an immediate impact as it could (the oceans absorb most of the extra energy and release it more slowly/evenly than land would--that's why Earth's average global temperature is warmest during the NH summer rather than the SH summer, even though we're closer to the sun during the SH summer). Similarly, since that's Northern Hemisphere's winter, that means our winters up here don't get as cold as they could.

However, slowly over the next 13,000 years, precession will cause the timing to switch so that the Southern Hemisphere's winter and the Northern Hemisphere's summer will occur when Earth is closer to the sun. Since the Northern Hemisphere has a much greater proportion of land than the Southern Hemisphere, air temperatures in the north will rise higher than they do during summer today (and presumably get colder during the winter months for the same reason). The whole cycle completes itself in roughly 26,000 years.

So yes, Earth's axis DOES affect climate, but over thousands of year spans, not years or decades.

If I was to make a list of natural impacts on Earth's climate, it would look something like this:

Long-term scale (thousands of years): Milankovitch Cycles (a mix of 100,000, 41,000, and 26,000 intervals)
Century scale: large-scale fluctuations in solar activity
Decadal scale: Ocean and atmospheric oscillations like the PDO, AMO, etc
Near-term scale: 11-year solar cycles, El Nino/La Nina, Arctic Oscillation, major volcanic eruptions, seasons

I've probably missed some things, but that gives you an idea.

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2007cobalt
post Jan 8 2011, 02:24 PM
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Right , I know about the normal tilting of the axis. Good information you guys brought up. What about anything non-cycle tilting. The Chilean earthquake reported ...I think it was this past year.... according to reports , even on mainstream television , apparently had an effect on the axis because it was so large. Is it not possible that nuclear blasts could have a similar effect ? Wouldnt any change in the normal cycles , no matter how minute , possibly have long term effects on the weather or climate , even ( because of the disruption ) years afterwards ? I think its a fair concern considering the large earthquakes in recent history , increasing nuclear testing and detonations since the 1950's. Any alteration , even miniscule , in the tilt of the earth ( out of its normal cycles ) is bound to have both nearly immediate results as far as the way the atmosphere handles radiation in relation to angle , as well as long term implications.

This post has been edited by 2007cobalt: Jan 8 2011, 02:27 PM
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Travis S.
post Jan 8 2011, 10:08 PM
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QUOTE(2007cobalt @ Jan 8 2011, 11:24 AM) *
Right , I know about the normal tilting of the axis. Good information you guys brought up. What about anything non-cycle tilting. The Chilean earthquake reported ...I think it was this past year.... according to reports , even on mainstream television , apparently had an effect on the axis because it was so large. Is it not possible that nuclear blasts could have a similar effect ? Wouldnt any change in the normal cycles , no matter how minute , possibly have long term effects on the weather or climate , even ( because of the disruption ) years afterwards ? I think its a fair concern considering the large earthquakes in recent history , increasing nuclear testing and detonations since the 1950's. Any alteration , even miniscule , in the tilt of the earth ( out of its normal cycles ) is bound to have both nearly immediate results as far as the way the atmosphere handles radiation in relation to angle , as well as long term implications.


I'm sure they have an effect, but I don't think it would be remotely big enough to alter global climate on anything less than a geologic time scale. We're talking about changes of MAYBE a couple inches per episode compared to the 1500+ miles Earth's axis is tilted from vertical (assuming my back-of-napkin math is close to reality), and to account for any cumulative effect, you'd have to assume that all the changes in axial tilt were in the same direction. Those are some small effects and big assumptions.

My personal opinion is that by the time exploding nuclear warheads had a significant affect on Earth's axial tilt, the climate would have already seen an even bigger shift simply due to the cumulative dust kicked up by the scores/hundreds of nuclear explosions.

This post has been edited by Travis S.: Jan 9 2011, 02:09 AM
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Regg
post Jan 9 2011, 12:15 AM
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According to Nasa JPL, the impact of any earthquake has an impact on both the rotation speed (acceleration) and tilt. But as someone already said, it is nowhere near what the Milankovitch cycles are.

QUOTE
The Feb. 27 (2010) magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile may have shortened the length of each Earth day.

JPL research scientist Richard Gross computed how Earth's rotation should have changed as a result of the Feb. 27 quake. Using a complex model, he and fellow scientists came up with a preliminary calculation that the quake should have shortened the length of an Earth day by about 1.26 microseconds (a microsecond is one millionth of a second).

Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis. Gross calculates the quake should have moved Earth's figure axis (the axis about which Earth's mass is balanced) by 2.7 milliarcseconds (about 8 centimeters, or 3 inches). Earth’s figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet).


Source : Nasa JPL- Chilean Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days
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2007cobalt
post Jan 10 2011, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE(Regg @ Jan 9 2011, 12:15 AM) *
According to Nasa JPL, the impact of any earthquake has an impact on both the rotation speed (acceleration) and tilt. But as someone already said, it is nowhere near what the Milankovitch cycles are.
Source : Nasa JPL- Chilean Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days



Good thoughtful answers. Picturing everything on such a huge scale though , its hard not to believe that literally "any" change to the earths location or angle to the sun wouldnt have a dramatic effect , both short and long term. Its one thing to picture it small scale , say like a globe and a light bulb , but quite another when you take into consideration the huge size of the earth and sun. What we consider "normal" depends on a lot of things being or reacting like they always have. Trying to come to terms with the huge size of both the sun and earth ,....seems like a situation where changes so slight that they seem harmless , or that they may not even register as changes , could cause problems. If there was even a minute change or deviation in the axis , that could conceivable move the point on the earth closest to the sun some distance ( from what it should otherwise be ). Heres an example , not too technical but just for illustration purposes to show what Im getting at ,........because of the scale , if a slight and barely noticeable change moved the area of the equator say a few miles one direction or the other. Not to mention the slightly different angle the suns radiation is filtered through the atmosphere. Why wouldnt this have a dramatic effect ? Aside from the already mentioned "known" changes to the axis and its effects. Im not sure if I described what Im thinking the best possible way , but am I way off here ?
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Regg
post Jan 10 2011, 06:36 PM
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Yes such modification in the axis, tilt, whatever would surely gives a huge climate (and other) impacts. But to get such change in them, you would need doomsday cataclysm. I mean, if you get a shift of 2.7 milliarcseconds after a 8.8 earthquake, can you imagine what it will take to shift it by a minute... even ''just'' 1 arc second.

I'm pretty sure that if we were to face such event, climate will be the very least of our problem(s). huh.gif

Please remember, some earthquakes do cause the earth's rotation to slow, others are causing it to accelerate (same principle as a skater spreading/closing arms to spin slower or faster).

This post has been edited by Regg: Jan 10 2011, 06:38 PM
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2007cobalt
post Jan 11 2011, 12:01 PM
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QUOTE(Regg @ Jan 10 2011, 06:36 PM) *
Yes such modification in the axis, tilt, whatever would surely gives a huge climate (and other) impacts. But to get such change in them, you would need doomsday cataclysm.


Doomsday cataclysm.....or string of tiny "hiccups" in a relatively short time period.
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Regg
post Jan 11 2011, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE(2007cobalt @ Jan 11 2011, 12:01 PM) *
Doomsday cataclysm.....or string of tiny "hiccups" in a relatively short time period.

Tiny hiccups ?

About 400 to 500 8.8 magnitude earthquakes for a 1 second arc (assuming they are all expending) = tiny hiccups ? blink.gif
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Sagebrusher
post Jan 11 2011, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE(Regg @ Jan 11 2011, 01:53 PM) *
Tiny hiccups ?

About 400 to 500 8.8 magnitude earthquakes for a 1 second arc (assuming they are all expending) = tiny hiccups ? blink.gif


It would take about 10 earthquakes equivalent to the 2004 Sumatra quake just to make up for the moon's yearly affect on our rotation, assuming all the quakes shifted denser ocean crust downwards. The moon also helps stabilize our axial orientation.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumatra-Andam...Energy_released

The shift of mass and the massive release of energy very slightly altered the Earth's rotation. The exact amount is not yet known, but theoretical models suggest the earthquake shortened the length of a day by 2.68 microseconds, due to a decrease in the oblateness of the Earth.[29] It also caused the Earth to minutely "wobble" on its axis by up to 2.5 cm (1 in) in the direction of 145° east longitude,[30] or perhaps by up to 5 or 6 cm (2.0 to 2.4 in).[31] However, because of tidal effects of the Moon, the length of a day increases at an average of 15 Microseconds per year, so any rotational change due to the earthquake will be lost quickly. Similarly, the natural Chandler wobble of the Earth, which in some cases can be up to 15 m (50 ft), will eventually offset the minor wobble produced by the earthquake

To seriously affect our axis, you need a BIG impact, I calculated that the asteriod depicted in the youtube video masses about 1/10,000th of the Earth's. Our 23 degree axial tilt is probably the result of a very large impact, possibly the one that produced the moon (see Giant Impact hypothesis on wiki)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBQN0Dr3N_8
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2007cobalt
post Jan 11 2011, 02:56 PM
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QUOTE(Regg @ Jan 11 2011, 12:53 PM) *
Tiny hiccups ?

About 400 to 500 8.8 magnitude earthquakes for a 1 second arc (assuming they are all expending) = tiny hiccups ? blink.gif



Well compared to doomsday cataclysms they would be tiny hiccups wink.gif

We've been having these "hiccups" for a while now. All technical jargon and statistics aside , I think it may have something to do with the warming trend. Without proof of any kind it remains just a hunch of mine and I wont try to make anyone else believe it but sometimes coincidence can actually mean something.
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Regg
post Jan 11 2011, 04:02 PM
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QUOTE(2007cobalt @ Jan 11 2011, 02:56 PM) *
Well compared to doomsday cataclysms they would be tiny hiccups wink.gif

We've been having these "hiccups" for a while now. All technical jargon and statistics aside , I think it may have something to do with the warming trend. Without proof of any kind it remains just a hunch of mine and I wont try to make anyone else believe it but sometimes coincidence can actually mean something.

What Sagebrusher is saying makes more sense to affect the axis than whatever hiccups you might think of. To really affect the axis, you need either time for natural cycles to happen (Milankovitch), or very large and spectacular events (i'm not talking about hiccups here), that is on a scale much larger than anything mankind could cope with.

So to answer the subject's question, yes a change in the earth's axis can affect climate (and largely) but we have to look elsewhere for answers on the current situation and the rapid changes taking place.
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Sagebrusher
post Jan 11 2011, 05:19 PM
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QUOTE(Regg @ Jan 11 2011, 05:02 PM) *
What Sagebrusher is saying makes more sense to affect the axis than whatever hiccups you might think of. To really affect the axis, you need either time for natural cycles to happen (Milankovitch), or very large and spectacular events (i'm not talking about hiccups here), that is on a scale much larger than anything mankind could cope with.

So to answer the subject's question, yes a change in the earth's axis can affect climate (and largely) but we have to look elsewhere for answers on the current situation and the rapid changes taking place.


What I have been trying to say, in an oblique way, is that you really need ALOT of energy, ie from a BIG event, unlike anything that has happened in the last 4 billion years, to seriously affect any spatial parameter of the earth, like the axis or even the obliquity of the ecliptic rolleyes.gif

The Earth's mass is around 6,600 million million million tons (if I remember right) and has an orbital velocity of 66,000 mph. To put it another way, the Earth is an immovable object and an irrestiable force at the same time. smile.gif
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NorEaster07
post Jan 17 2011, 02:43 PM
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The Indonesian Earthquake that produced the massive Tsunami caused a slight shift in the Earths Axis. It also took a milisecond off our daily clock. Days are no longer 24 hours. Technically they are less now..

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/...h-20100301.html

While the Chile Earthquake shortened the days by 1.26 microseconds, the Indonesian Quake shortened them by 6.8 microseconds.

The Chile quake moved Earth's figure axis by 3 inches...
The Indonesian Quake moved Earth's axis by 2.77 inches..

This post has been edited by NorEaster07: Jan 17 2011, 02:52 PM


--------------------
Snow Totals Per Season:

2007-08: 21"
2008-09: 41"
2009-10: 39.5"
2010-11: 71.5"
2011-12: 14"
2012-13: 46.5"
2013-14: 56.75"

Average(BDR since 1950) = 27.75"
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Sagebrusher
post Jan 18 2011, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE(NorEaster07 @ Jan 17 2011, 03:43 PM) *
The Indonesian Earthquake that produced the massive Tsunami caused a slight shift in the Earths Axis. It also took a milisecond off our daily clock. Days are no longer 24 hours. Technically they are less now..

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/...h-20100301.html

While the Chile Earthquake shortened the days by 1.26 microseconds, the Indonesian Quake shortened them by 6.8 microseconds.

The Chile quake moved Earth's figure axis by 3 inches...
The Indonesian Quake moved Earth's axis by 2.77 inches..


Meanwhile, the moon has been lengthening our day by 15 microseconds per year since those quakes, so the days are still getting longer, and will continue to do so until our day equals the moon's orbital period. We'll have some interesting diurnal weather cycles in the future.
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