Humans have pumped enough groundwater to change the tilt of the Earth

Human activities such as pumping groundwater can alter the tilt of the Earth, according to scientists. Water, which was pumped from 1993 to 2010 and flowed to farms and cities and then into the sea, caused sea levels to increase by one quarter of an inch, previous research found. A new study compared changes in the position of the Earth’s rotational pole with computer models of the pole’s position, and found that the presence of groundwater pumping was responsible for an even bigger effect: shifting the pole’s location by 31 inches. The report is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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