Grinding to a Halt

This is awesome! Just found this site via BoingBoing about what would happen if Earth slowed to a stop. Snip:
What would happen if the earth's rotation slowed down and finally stopped spinning over a period of a few decades? ArcGIS lets us model the effects of this scenario, performing calculations and estimations and creating a series of maps showing the effects the absence of centrifugal force would have on sea level.

If earth ceased rotating about its axis but continued revolving around the sun . . . the sequential disappearance of centrifugal force would cause a catastrophic change in climate and disastrous geologic adjustments (expressed as devastating earthquakes) to the transforming equipotential gravitational state.

The lack of the centrifugal effect would result in the gravity of the earth being the only significant force controlling the extent of the oceans. Prominent celestial bodies such as the moon and sun would also play a role, but because of their distance from the earth, their impact on the extent of global oceans would be negligible.

If the earth's gravity alone was responsible for creating a new geography, the huge bulge of oceanic water—which is now about 8 km high at the equator—would migrate to where a stationary earth's gravity would be the strongest. This bulge is attributed to the centrifugal effect of earth's spinning with a linear speed of 1,667 km/hour at the equator. The existing equatorial water bulge also inflates the ellipsoidal shape of the globe itself.

If the earth stood still, the oceans would gradually migrate toward the poles and cause land in the equatorial region to emerge. This would eventually result in a huge equatorial megacontinent and two large polar oceans . . . Obviously, the last connection will be broken at the lowest point of the global divide line, located southwest of the Kiribati Islands . . . The actual slowdown of the earth's rotation has been observed, measured, calculated, and theoretically explained. As newer methodologies are developed and more precise instruments are constructed, the exact rate of the slowdown may vary between some sources. Reflecting this very gradual slowing, atomic clocks must be adjusted to solar time by adding a leap second every so often.
Separate oceans would inevitably lead to unique fauna like Lake Vostok in Antarctica! See also my previous post on Terraforming.

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