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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shorter Winters - Warmer Weather - Not Due to SUVs

"The Belgian astronomer Jean Meeus has pointed out a peculiar distinction of the coming winters. Because of the perturbations of the earth's orbit, the lengths of the seasons are changing. In particular, the duration of winter (from December solstice to March equinox) is gradually decreasing. In A.D. 1000 it was 89.47 days; it will be 88.99 days in A.D. 2000 and 88.74 in A.D. 3000. The minimum will be about the year 3500, and thereafter the durations will increase.
Mr. Meeus notes that the 1970-71 winter lasted 89d Oh 2m, and that next winter will last 88d 23h 58™. Thus 1971-72 will be the first astronomical winter in several thousand years to have a duration of less than 89 days." ["Shorter Winters" Sky & Telescope, June 1971, 343.]

With all following winters to be shorter. Due to the Earth's orbit. Not SUVs or Humans. Chalk another one up for SCIENCE!

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