From: Michael Reilly, Discovery News
Published April 21, 2009 10:22 AM

Days to Stretch Longer With Climate Change

Climate change will make the day longer by the end of the century, according to a new study.

Earth's atmosphere plays a large role in controlling how fast the planet rotates. As the seasons change, variations in high-level jets of wind shift, adding and subtracting about a millisecond to our day each year.

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Elfrun Lehmann of the Free University of Berlin in Germany and a group of researchers compared wind patterns measured between 1982 and 2000 to a computer model that projected conditions from 2071 to 2100.

They found that Earth's days will lengthen by an average of millisecond in the future if carbon dioxide doubles compared to preindustrial levels, thanks mostly to increasingly warm "El Nino" conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

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