Research ArticleOCEANOGRAPHY

Reconciling past changes in Earth’s rotation with 20th century global sea-level rise: Resolving Munk’s enigma

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Science Advances  11 Dec 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 11, e1500679
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500679

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  • Author's response to Belov eLetter

    Mr. Belov

    Thank you for the interest in my article. You point out, as we did in our paper, that melting of ice sheets due to global warming will contribute to a slowing of the Earth's rotation axis. However, this connection has been clear for many decades - we were not the first to point it out. Geophysical work in the late 1980s and early 1990s made this connection very clear, and we used this much earlier insight in our article.

    However, the article extends well beyond recent changes in the Earth's rotation rate to include a discussion of changes in the orientation of the Earth's rotation axis and longer term (multi-millennia) changes in rotation rate as inferred from ancient eclipse records. There are many explanations for all of these anomalies in Earth rotation, including melting ice sheets, but no explanation was able simultaneously fit all three observations. Our paper does that through a series of advances related to improvements in the theoretical treatment of Earth rotation, the use of a more precise model of ice age dynamics, and the recognition of millennial scale changes in Earth rotation due to coupling between the Earth's core and mantle. There will inevitably be small revisions to this story, but the study is the first to bring all three observations into alignment and thus resolves Munk's enigma.


    Jerry Mitrovica

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: possible resolutions was published already on wordpress blog

    This possible resolutions was published on wordpress blog at june 2015. I'm surprised what authors used this idea from there and they didn't mentioned about this into article. It's not fair.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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