Of course, as the distance shrinks, we should start saving on airfare.
Tectonic plates have doubled their speed.
LONDON: Earth’s tectonic plates are moving faster now than at any point in the last 2 billion years, according to a new study.
Plate tectonics is driven by the formation and destruction of oceanic crust. This crust forms where plates move apart, allowing hot, light magma to rise from the mantle below and solidify.
The planet’s inner heat which powers plate tectonics is ebbing away as Earth ages, and this was expected to slow plate motion.
A research last year by Martin Van Kranendonk at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues measured elements concentrated by tectonic action in 3,200 rocks from around the world, and concluded that plate motion has been slowing for 1.2 billion years.
But now Kent Condie, a geochemist at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro and his colleagues have used a different approach and concluded that tectonic activity is actually increasing, ‘New Scientist’ reported.
The average rate of continental collisions, and the average speed with which the continents change latitude, has doubled over the last 2 billion years, the study found.
“We expected to find that the average speed would be slowing down with time, but we didn’t get that. Both speeds were going up. It was a surprise,” said Condie.
Part of my skepticism of “settled science” stems from Mrs. Johnson’s 8th grade social studies class where, pointing to a world map and the seeming fit between Africa and South America, she told us that “some people once believed that this meant that the two continents were once one, but of course now we know that’s not true.” At the time she was teaching us what she’d learned in teacher college, plate tectonics was on the verge of being accepted as fact by the scientific world.
The only difference between that paradigm bust and global warming is that there was no particular profit or social objective to be gained in suppressing the truth about Gondwana Land and the plates beneath it, so the resistance from the establishment was less.