# Theory of the earth's inclination

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I don't know whether this is helpful or not, but there is a great book entitled The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch written by Donald Wesley Patten in 1966.

He proposes in this book that a meteor hit the earth and changed its axis. Regardless of what worldview you subscribe to, this is a fasinating book. It was published by the Pacific Meridian Publishing Company.

Best Regards,

David Peake

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Could the shifting of the continents have gradualy altered the earths center of gravity causing it to spin on a different axis?

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i know this is a bit off topic, but have you heard about the recent test (two days ago) that shows that the same honey bees that are alive today were alive when the meteor hit? A full article can be found on http://www.newscienceonline.com if you're interested. It puts the dinosaur extinction by meteorite theory into question. Not that it happened, because I still believe it did, but the meteorite mustn't have been as big as previously thought and mustn't have induced such a huge winter as previously thought, as honey bees, as well as flowers, would be among the first species to become extinct in such a scenario.

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I don't know whether this is helpful or not' date=' but there is a great book entitled [b']The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch[/b] written by Donald Wesley Patten in 1966.

He proposes in this book that a meteor hit the earth and changed its axis. Regardless of what worldview you subscribe to, this is a fasinating book. It was published by the Pacific Meridian Publishing Company.

...

Best Regards,

David Peake

I doubt a meteor would have enough angular momentum to tilt us by 23 degrees, especially if it happened near one of the poles.

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I havent read all of the thread yet but id like to offer some information if i may. Did anyone know that a shift in the earths magnticic field has tilted the earth in the past,bearing in mind thats what is going on at present.

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I havent read all of the thread yet but id like to offer some information if i may. Did anyone know that a shift in the earths magnticic field has tilted the earth in the past,bearing in mind thats what is going on at present.

A magnetic pole shift and a rotational axis shift are not the same thing.

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Could the shifting of the continents have gradualy altered the earths center of gravity causing it to spin on a different axis?

How would that have exerted a torque on the system?

This is the rotational analogue of pulling one's self up by one's bootstraps. Angular momentum is conserved with no torque. The answer is "no."

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A magnetic pole shift and a rotational axis shift are not the same thing.

I like the way he edited out the part that said "I know this because I am a geologist".

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Ive heard somewhere (dont rem when / wehere) that once the Moon was actualy part of the Earth, I dont know how true this is at all (it seems unlikely), but wouldnt an impact large enough to do that also make us so many degrees out in spin?
Current best theory holds that in the formative stages of the Earth it was struck by a Mars sized object. At that time the Earth had already differentiated pretty well, with an iron nickel core, and a 'scum' of lighter elements. The impact removed a substantial part of the the lighter portions, ejecting them into space. 90% plus of that material went its own way. The remainder coalesced to form the moon.

There is now some pretty good numerical simulation of th event that gives us a good match for the observed characteristics of the resultant earth-moon system. So the Moon is a child of the Earth, but poor old dad died during copulation.

Side effects of this that are pertinent to the origin and evolution of life include:

Plate tectonics plays a central role in maintaining long term climatic stability (and ensuring there is land). Without the removal of a substantial portion of the light crust by the impact plate tectonics would probably not be possible. The plates would 'lock' as appears to have happened on Venus, which is pretty much what Eath would have been like compositionally without the impact.

Strong lunar tides, that may have promoted early evolution and certainly aided the move from sea to land.

Stabilisation of the orbital axis. Ah, back to the original topicIf the moon was not there the earth's axial inclination would vary much more than it does. Again, with important effects upon long term climatic stability.

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A magnetic pole shift and a rotational axis shift are not the same thing.

Thats correct but the former and all the cataclysm that follows can cause the latter.

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Thats correct but the former (a magnetic pole shift) and all the cataclysm that follows can cause the latter (rotational axis shift).
That does fall into the category of nonsense.

A pole reversal is doubtless a dramatic event, but there is serious doubt that its consequences are cataclysmic. Some of the predicted consequences have included:

Elimination of the ozone layer with consequent increase in cancer, especially skin cancers, and in mutations.

Navigational disaster for whales, homing pigeons and the like.

Major power outages and disruption of electrical distribution systems.

Major climatic changes as the atmosphere expands (or is it contracts?)

Functional disorders in human brain operation.

It is now thought doubtful that any but the navigational problems would arise. Why? The field does not vanish, but changes in character, so that a measure of protection is still in place.

But even if all these events were to occur they are all superficial, effecting the atmosphere and the biosphere, but having no effect upon the body of the earth.

What is your evidence for claiming a relationship between the two?

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Errr... isn't the tilt of the axis 23 degrees on average?

Iirc the swing of the planet in its axis is what causes the seasons.

I checked to see if someone had already responded to this and I couldn't find anything.

So, no. Although the tlt varies from 23 degrees, it does so over the course of millenia. Seasons are caused by the varying insolation received, that depends in turn upon the how spread out a given bundle of sun's rays are.

In winter for a hemisphere, that hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, so that the sun is lower on the horizon, on average throughout the day (which is also shorter). Together the two factors mean less heat input, therefore lower temperature.

In summer the situation is reversed.

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That does fall into the category of nonsense.

A pole reversal is doubtless a dramatic event' date=' but there is serious doubt that its consequences are cataclysmic. Some of the predicted consequences have included:

Elimination of the ozone layer with consequent increase in cancer, especially skin cancers, and in mutations.

Navigational disaster for whales, homing pigeons and the like.

Major power outages and disruption of electrical distribution systems.

Major climatic changes as the atmosphere expands (or is it contracts?)

Functional disorders in human brain operation.

It is now thought doubtful that any but the navigational problems would arise. Why? The field does not vanish, but changes in character, so that a measure of protection is still in place.

But even if all these events were to occur they are all superficial, effecting the atmosphere and the biosphere, but having no effect upon the body of the earth.

What is your evidence for claiming a relationship between the two?[/quote']

Hope this nonsense helps explain it as i never said a pole shift would cause an axiel shift only that it was possible.Saying my post is nonsense doesnt instill the greatest of enthusiasm on my part,however!!!.Im glad you refer to a magnetic reversal as some superficial event.And that the field doesnt vanish just changes in character.I hope for our sakes your ill informed scenario is the case.

Heres my view based on facts, painting a less rosey future.You know reversals have taken place in the past,We can see such records of past events embedded in iron minerals in ancient lavabeds.Some of which show that it can last for thousands of years,Were our planet is battered by solar radiation.(kinda what happened to Mars when its magnetic field failed permanently and ummm its atmosphere boiled away)Rather than the hopefull change in character the magnetic field will dissappear prior to its re-emergence in a reversed orientation,It could be as little as a few weeks or as i said it has taken a little longer(smiles).A minor inconvenience the ice caps melting,resulting in earths imbalance.Then tectonic plates movements are speeded to counter the imbalance and ooops did earth just shake its tic-tacs at me.

Unfortunately i dont have the insentive to go searching for links,but if you would like to research it further you could google worst case scenario's.

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Hope this nonsense helps explain it as i never said a pole shift would cause an axiel shift only that it was possible[/u'].Saying my post is nonsense doesnt instill the greatest of enthusiasm on my part,however!!!.Im glad you refer to a magnetic reversal as some superficial event.And that the field doesnt vanish just changes in character.I hope for our sakes your ill informed scenario is the case.

In order to change the rotational axis, you MUST have an external torque. This is physics 101 stuff. There is no need to go any further. Your contention is nonsense, and it is laughable for you to use the phrase "ill informed" in referring to anybody else on this topic.

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i never said a pole shift would cause an axiel(sic) shift only that it was possible[/u'].
Correct. You are postulating a possible cause and effect, and I asked you for evidence of this relationship.

Im glad you refer to a magnetic reversal as some superficial event.And that the field doesnt vanish just changes in character.I hope for our sakes your ill informed scenario is the case.
I don't refer to it as a superficial event. I described it as dramatic, but noted that there were doubts as to whether it was cataclysmic.

These doubts are not just mine. You need look no further than a discussion on this very board in the Modern Physics/Theoretical Physics forum, titled Magnetic Pole Reversal Theories. In this Lucid Dreamer, Cap'n Refsmmat, and Swansont all express the view that a maganetic pole reversal would not prove catastrophic.

I was surprised by these views, as they did not match what I recalled from casual reading on the topic. (If you care to read the thread you will see that I asked for references.) When I searched dligently I found that while there were any number of sites proclaiming gloom and doom, the more serious, though less numerous items were much more reserved.

So, the scenario I have portrayed is not mine, nor is it ill informed. My original statement stands - there are serious doubts that the reversal would be cataclysmic. [i trust that you are not garnering your opinions from the BBC [i]Horizons [/i]Disaster-of-the Month Club.] It may turn out to be cataclysmic and destroy our civilisation, but current thinking is that this is unlikely. As you have pointed out the Earth and all the life on it, including early humans, have survived numerous such reversals in the past.

A minor inconvenience the ice caps melting,resulting in earths imbalance.Then tectonic plates movements are speeded to counter the imbalance and ooops did earth just shake its tic-tacs at me..
I believe I acknowledged the possibility that "major climatic changes" could occur, and certainly melting of the ice caps could easily be a consequence. It's the next two steps that I have described as nonsense.

[You appear, by the way, to have taken personal offence at this description. Nonsense= non sense = does not make sense, is not scientifically consistent. If you are going to take umbrage every time someome contests one of your statements then we are not going to get very far.]

1. A simple calculation shows that the total mass of ice is less than 3/100th of 1% of the mass of the crustal plates. The potential effect becomes even less when you consider that the angular momentum associated with the ice caps is low, since they are located close to the poles. It is not a credible mechanism.

2. Why would the "tectonic plate movement" be "speeded to counter the imbalance"? Plate movement is driven primarily by internal heat flow, not by surficial mechanics.

Edit: Damn, Swansont, why didn't I think of that. It would have taken so much less time.

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To be fair, the findings that indicate a pole reversal would not be cataclysmic are fairly recent, and not everyone is up to speed yet.

I was a champion of the certain doom scenario myself not long back, until the area was refined by new information.

However I can't see where the pole reversal -> tilt scenario comes from.

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In order to change the rotational axis, you MUST have an external torque. This is physics 101 stuff. There is no need to go any further. Your contention is[/i'] nonsense, and it is laughable for you to use the phrase "ill informed" in referring to anybody else on this topic.

Ok i will take ophi's and saya's comments on board,your laughing only at my post swansont.But without getting angry TOSH ! I give you respect as ophi said yourself,lucid,capn have had previous disscussions on the subject so no doubt you will have all researched sites to gain insight into the possible cause and effect.However your opening comments are incorrect,i cannot believe that someone who is supposed to know his stuff would make such a foolish statement as authoritively as you did .You DO NOT need an external torque to alter a planets obliquity.This is BASIC physics swansont. And yes it helps if you actually study geologyooops hey i do thats a bonus.

The earths obliquity(thats axial tilt)has moved a few times in the past,In earths ancient past impact resulting in our moon which is widely accepted by scientists gave an est 70°,and stayed above 54° for most of the pre-cambrian(external torque).This means the pole regions were pretty sunny, no ice!!with glaciers forming at low-latitudes. During the late Proterozoic glaciation (800-600 million years ago), continents at low palaeolatitudes were glaciated.(do you see were im going here)Causing yes! the obliquity to decrease to about 26°between 600-400 million years ago.Were its been pretty stable,however as scientists dont all agree some say palaeoclimatic and palaeontological data suggest that in the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic the earth's tilt was only 5 to 15°.Notice ive only mentioned a few tilts,scientists cannot agree on a few some say earths obliquity has changed many times some very recent.You may have read about or seen some BBC documentary which Ophi mentioned,flash frozen mammoths eating daisies lol.

Now bearing in mind what could possibly make the earths obliquity change? the moon you shout in triumph aha external torque!,correct i say when we first captured it.Sadly though it now acts as a stabilizing force.So we are left with geophysical mechanisms within the earth itself, such as dissipative core-mantle coupling,lithosphere displacement this amounts to an accelerated, global-scale version of the official plate-tectonic scenario, which may be caused by gravitational imbalances (uncompensated masses) within the lithosphere or immediately below it.Now maybe add magnetic reversals which prior to re-emergence it disappears(which may be a very long time mightin it precious...and them dont taste so nice do they..no...GOLLUM)solar radiation,icecap melts,increased seizmic activity...uhmmmm.

Now you want to view the data and say they has been approx 170 reversals in earths past,theys also depending on which science doctrine you choose to champion plenty of obliquity changes.Its not rocket science to see a logical relationship here.But since all science is the best guess so far scenario,hey kinda like religion its what you want to believe i suppose.

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Ophiolite wrote: Current best theory holds that in the formative stages of the Earth it was struck by a Mars sized object. At that time the Earth had already differentiated pretty well, with an iron nickel core, and a 'scum' of lighter elements. The impact removed a substantial part of the the lighter portions, ejecting them into space. 90% plus of that material went its own way. The remainder coalesced to form the moon.

There is now some pretty good numerical simulation of th event that gives us a good match for the observed characteristics of the resultant earth-moon system. So the Moon is a child of the Earth, but poor old dad died during copulation.

Interesting. Can you point me toward some links? I don't dispute what you're saying, I want to read the stuff for my own edification. Didn't know about the 90-plus percent of mass that didn't eventually become the Moon, for example.

Geode

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"In order to change the rotational axis' date=' you MUST have an [b']external torque[/b]."

Ok i will take ophi's and saya's comments on board,your laughing only at my post swansont.But without getting angry TOSH ! I give you respect as ophi said yourself,lucid,capn have had previous disscussions on the subject so no doubt you will have all researched sites to gain insight into the possible cause and effect.However your opening comments are incorrect,i cannot believe that someone who is supposed to know his stuff would make such a foolish statement as authoritively as you did .You DO NOT need an external torque to alter a planets obliquity.This is BASIC physics swansont. And yes it helps if you actually study geologyooops hey i do thats a bonus.

Study all the geology you want, it doesn't seem to have helped you at all with the physics. You need an external torque. Angular momentum is conserved without one.

The earths obliquity(thats axial tilt)has moved a few times in the past,In earths ancient past impact resulting in our moon

Um, "impact" = "external torque"

which is widely accepted by scientists gave an est 70°,and stayed above 54° for most of the pre-cambrian(external torque).This means the pole regions were pretty sunny, no ice!!with glaciers forming at low-latitudes. During the late Proterozoic glaciation (800-600 million years ago), continents at low palaeolatitudes were glaciated.(do you see were im going here)Causing yes! the obliquity to decrease to about 26°between 600-400 million years ago.Were its been pretty stable,however as scientists dont all agree some say palaeoclimatic and palaeontological data suggest that in the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic the earth's tilt was only 5 to 15°.Notice ive only mentioned a few tilts,scientists cannot agree on a few some say earths obliquity has changed many times some very recent.You may have read about or seen some BBC documentary which Ophi mentioned,flash frozen mammoths eating daisies lol.

References? All I can find is this which refers to the shifting as a "wild idea" and doesn't do anything to satisfatorally explain the mechanism. Everything I've read talks about torque from the sun, moon and planets causing changes (e.g. Milankovitch cycles) which change the obliquity a few degrees. Again, these are from external torques.

Now bearing in mind what could possibly make the earths obliquity change? the moon you shout in triumph aha external torque!' date='correct i say when we first captured it.Sadly though it now acts as a stabilizing force.So we are left with geophysical mechanisms within the earth itself, such as dissipative core-mantle coupling,lithosphere displacement this amounts to an accelerated, global-scale version of the official plate-tectonic scenario, which may be caused by gravitational imbalances (uncompensated masses) within the lithosphere or immediately below it.Now maybe add magnetic reversals which prior to re-emergence it disappears(which may be a very long time mightin it precious...and them dont taste so nice do they..no...GOLLUM)solar radiation,icecap melts,increased seizmic activity...uhmmmm.

Now you want to view the data and say they has been approx 170 reversals in earths past,theys also depending on which science doctrine you choose to champion plenty of obliquity changes.Its not rocket science to see a logical relationship here.But since all science is the best guess so far scenario,hey kinda like religion its what you want to believe i suppose.[/quote']

You still haven't explained how the changing magnetic field causes the axis shift. You've stated (without proof so far) that big axis shifts happened in the past, and so have magnetic reversals. Correlation is not causality.

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I accept no im not great at physics,But this is like flogging a dead horse i never stated a magnetic reversal would cause an axial shift,but its knock on effect could cause one.I know the following is simplifying things but bear with me.It helps if you consider the fact that the earth spinning on its axis isnt a well balanced object(imagine a ball with a weight stuck to the side...)we know this is the case because the earth oscillates.Now worst case scenario the magnetic field disappears,Huge disruption within the earths mantle,we're bombarded with radiation from the sun,the earth is heated,ice caps melt,upheavel in geophysical mechanisms,lithosphere displacement,a speeding of plate techtonics over a short period.The magnetic field re-emerging goodness knows when,techtonic movement again to counter the imbalance already created and maybe an axial shift.

Instead of them moving away imagine the coming together of gif image

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I accept no im not great at physics' date='But this is like flogging a dead horse i never stated a magnetic reversal [u']would[/u] cause an axial shift,but its knock on effect could cause one.I know the following is simplifying things but bear with me.It helps if you consider the fact that the earth spinning on its axis isnt a well balanced object(imagine a ball with a weight stuck to the side...)we know this is the case because the earth oscillates.Now worst case scenario the magnetic field disappears,Huge disruption within the earths mantle,we're bombarded with radiation from the sun,the earth is heated,ice caps melt,upheavel in geophysical mechanisms,lithosphere displacement,a speeding of plate techtonics over a short period.The magnetic field re-emerging goodness knows when,techtonic movement again to counter the imbalance already created and maybe an axial shift.

And I disagree, especially with the last part.

Any reorientation of the axis has to happen from an external cause. You can have wobble, when the rotational axis and center-of-mass axis don't coincide, but you don't appear to be talking about that.

Forces that are internal to the system can't change the angular momentum. You can change the moment of inertia, but that will be coupled to a change in rotational speed.

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Interesting. Can you point me toward some links? I don't dispute what you're saying' date=' I want to read the stuff for my own edification. Didn't know about the 90-plus percent of mass that [i']didn't[/i] eventually become the Moon, for example.

Geode

Sorry for delay - hard drive crash. I've lost all my links, but try this:

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/lunar-01d.html

If I can find the rest of them on archive discs I'll post later or pm.

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i never stated a magnetic reversal would[/u'] cause an axial shift,but its knock on effect could cause one.
No, it couldn't. That is the point we are debating, and quite simply you are wrong. This is not an opinion, this is an application of sound scientific principles.
I know the following is simplifying things but bear with me.It helps if you consider the fact that the earth spinning on its axis isnt a well balanced object(imagine a ball with a weight stuck to the side...)we know this is the case because the earth oscillates.;
Agreed, though there is a difference between balance and stability. Please ponder that.
Now worst case scenario the magnetic field disappears,Huge disruption within the earths mantle,;
Why? Why would the loss of the magnetic field have any discernible effect on the mantle? The magnetic field originates in the core. Loss of the field will have no gross mechanical effect on the mantle whatsoever. If you are claiming it would, and you are, please provide the mechanism, by which this occurs.
we're bombarded with radiation from the sun,the earth is heated,ice caps melt,
Your sequence is a little flaky, but for a worst case scenario we will accept the final outcome, melted polar caps.
upheavel in geophysical mechanisms
What geophysical mechanisms are you talking about? Get a sense of proportion here please. A paltry mass of water is released from the Antarctic and this is going to cause "lithosphere displacement,a speeding of plate tectonics over a short period." Why? For what reason. Give me a mechanism founded in reality not speculation.

Fact: melting of the polar caps will not induce a change in plate tectonics.

Fact: loss of the magnetic field will not induce a change in plate tectonics.

So what are you talking about?

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i never stated a magnetic reversal would[/u'] cause an axial shift,but its knock on effect could cause one.
No, it couldn't. That is the point we are debating, and quite simply you are wrong. This is not an opinion, this is an application of sound scientific principles.
I know the following is simplifying things but bear with me.It helps if you consider the fact that the earth spinning on its axis isnt a well balanced object(imagine a ball with a weight stuck to the side...)we know this is the case because the earth oscillates.;
Agreed, though there is a difference between balance and stability. Please ponder that.
Now worst case scenario the magnetic field disappears,Huge disruption within the earths mantle,;
Why? Why would the loss of the magnetic field have any discernible effect on the mantle? The magnetic field originates in the core. Loss of the field will have no gross mechanical effect on the mantle whatsoever. If you are claiming it would, and you are, please provide the mechanism, by which this occurs.
we're bombarded with radiation from the sun,the earth is heated,ice caps melt,
Your sequence is a little flaky, but for a worst case scenario we will accept the final outcome, melted polar caps.
upheavel in geophysical mechanisms
What geophysical mechanisms are you talking about? Get a sense of proportion here please. A paltry mass of water is released from the Antarctic and this is going to cause "lithosphere displacement,a speeding of plate tectonics over a short period." Why? For what reason. Give me a mechanism founded in reality not speculation.

Fact: melting of the polar caps will not induce a change in plate tectonics.

Fact: loss of the magnetic field will not induce a change in plate tectonics.

So what are you talking about?

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About the impact craters - here's a link to the home page of the Earth Impact Database from the Planetary and Space Science Centre - University of New Brunswick:

http://www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase/images.html

You can click on the name to see graphic information - including pictures, and gravity and magnetic anomaly maps.

Here's Chicxulub, which is thought to be the one that caused mass dinocide:

http://www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase/images/chicxulub.htm

It is buried, as are many of the older craters, but the seismic, gravity, and magnetics define it clearly.

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