Thursday, December 3, 2015

Aftermath - When the Earth Stops Spinning

Today on Far Future Horizons we explore the dire consequences if the Earth were to gradually stop spinning on its axis.

In this catastrophic scenario the spin of the Earth starts slowing down dramatically and is estimated Earth would stop spinning in as little as five years. The first effect is the isolation between the Global Positioning System satellites and ground-based atomic clocks. Then the all-day, all-night stock markets crash because the day is longer than 24 hours.

Over billions of years, our planet has developed into an intricate ecosystem, capable of sustaining life. But what would the outcome be if we were confronted by scenarios of apocalyptic proportions? Aftermath examines how we would cope in the event of various natural and man-made happenings on an epic scale. Imagining extreme scenarios, this four-part series looks at how the entire world would prepare for the end of time.

As times goes on the oceanic bulge of water at the equator moves northward and southward. The water floods Russia, Canada and Antarctica. The atmosphere once spreading solar heat out all over the world and shifting air, stops and whirls to the Poles.

The air starts to thin at the equator. People have to migrate to more northerly and southerly cities, in order to keep up with denser air. There is a higher risk of ultraviolet radiation as the electromagnetic field weakens because of the slowing inner core. The slowing Earth causes friction between the crust, the inner and outer cores creating tremendous earthquakes.

Humans and other animals start suffering from sleep fatigue as their bodies cannot properly work in a day longer than sixty hours.

The new oceans at the poles start flooding most of North America and Mediterranean Europe around this time. As the oceans have moved to the Poles, the sea-bed dries out, revealing new land.

Eventually, the Earth stops altogether with one side to the Sun and one face in ice-bound darkness. There is now one ocean in the north, one in the south and the girdle of land around the equator.

If the Earth was to suddenly stop our seas and the atmosphere would change so drastically that it would no longer be able to support human life. Looking to a future where one side of the planet is dark and cold for six months at a time, and the other is bathed in deadly solar radiation, this episode explores how long human and animal life might survive in a cruel new, stationary world.

You can obtain other episodes of this series on DVD from the National Geographic Channels online shop.

Aftermath - When The Earth Stops Spinning
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