Tech UPTechnologyThe earth is getting fat

The earth is getting fat

tierra-climaThe Earth has never been perfectly round. Just as a skater’s skirt is lifted and turned while she performs a pirouette, the water on the blue planet tends to be more concentrated at the equator than at the poles. 22,000 years ago, several kilometers of ice covered most of the northern hemisphere, but as this icy layer has been melting the planet has also changed its shape, so that the Earth is now more spherical than ever, explains Steve Nerem, aerospace engineer from the University of Colorado (USA), in a study published in the journalGeophysical Research Letters. In fact,Since the 1990s the Earth has tended to “get fat”, like a rubber ball pressed from above and below would do.

Using data obtained by the twin satellites of theGRACE mission(acronym forGravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) NASA, Nerem and colleagues have shown that eThis change in the shape of the Earth has been caused by the melting of glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland, since most of the water coming from the poles has moved towards the equator. According to the researchers, the two regions are losing a total of 382,000 tons of ice a year, and the Earth’s “waistband” is widening at a rate of 0.28 centimeters per decade.

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