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B . L O G

[ 2022.08.03 ] Is Earth getting f[l]atter?
Log author: by Amenoum
Log date: 2022.08.03
No, the Earth is not flat and it never will be unless it increases rotation significantly. And for that, celestial bodies generally need more mass. This is because every spherical body with a gravitational maximum in its center will be, with increasing rotation, transforming from spherical form into a disk. Since angular velocity is lower on the poles, gravitational force overpowers centrifugal force, redistributing mass from polar regions into equatorial. Due to conservation of angular momentum, added mass should slow down rotation but this is not the case with celestial bodies (gas planets, for example, generally rotate faster with increased mass). Because of this, general assumption is that acquired mass already had a big angular momentum. Mass was acquired from the collapse of a spinning cloud of gas, which, with a decrease in orbital radius must increase rotation speed. Some of that momentum is then transferred to already acquired mass - increasing rotation of the body. Earth is currently not getting any additional mass from orbiting clouds of gas, however, with melting of ice on the poles and rising sea levels, the Earth is getting more flat. If Earth would be a fluid (liquid or gas), this redistribution of mass would be, together with tidal forces induced by the Moon, slowing down the rotation of Earth at equator while speeding up rotation at the poles. All due to conservation of angular momentum: $\displaystyle L = m\, v\, r$ Since momentum L must remain constant, more mass m on the equator [with no additional momentum] will decrease rotation - angular velocity v. Even more, if radius is increased too (will be, if there is no increase in mass density). On the poles where mass and radius were decreased, rotation increases. But Earth's rotation is speeding up. One explanation for this is Earth's rigidness - decreasing radius at the poles is increasing rotation at the poles but also at the equator because the two are mostly connected by solid mass. This is a valid and most likely explanation, however, due to tendency to conserve momentum, this is also increasing tension (heat) between the equator and the poles - redistributed mass is fluid and it will resist acceleration (increased fluid mass on equator, to conserve momentum, must slow down instead of speeding up). The faster the ice melts, the friction is bigger (and tension between the equator and the poles) and greater is the possibility for earthquakes and volcanism.
If the ice would rapidly melt (ie. in a day) this would also produce global flooding.
The redistribution of mass with melting of polar ice is also increasing differences between momenta of equator fluids and polar fluids (equatorial tending to slow down, polar speeding up). Increasing differential rotation is increasing induced Coriolis force - which translates to stronger, faster rotating vortexes, ie. hurricanes (typhoons).
Is the growing number of flat-Earthers correlated with this flattening of Earth? Is the flattening and increasing rotation a precursor to acquisition of mass [adding additional spin momenta], ie. asteroids, or Moon [fragments]? Well, according to my theories, this is likely all correlated.