Did you know that the days are getting longer? If you haven’t noticed, don’t feel bad.
Each day lengthens by one five hundredth of a second every century. Which means that 500 centuries from now each day will be a full second longer.
The earth’s rotation is slowing down because of the drag of the tides. When the moon pulls the ocean into bulges, the earth keeps rotating under them. The moon tries to hold the water in one spot, while the earth tries to pull the water around with it. This friction of the water against the earth slows the earth down like brakes on a spinning wheel.
To compensate, scientists adjust time every few years. They add «leap seconds» at the end of June or December to keep our clocks on schedule. By the year 51997 we’ll have an extra second every day.
Tides in Canada’s Bay of Fundy are the highest in the world, rising more than fifty feet!
If the moon causes tides in the ocean, why doesn’t it create tides in lakes and ponds? And why doesn’t it make a bowl of soup rise on one side and flood over?
In small bodies of liquid, such as lakes and soup bowls, other forces outweigh the effect of the moon. Wind, weather, and barometric pressure keep the water in place.
God created a complex system of balances to keep the tides in the oceans. There they stimulate the feeding cycles of mussels and barnacles, provide food for the birds and worms, and give life to an abundance of creatures in the tidal pools.