Will Spring Disappear as it Gets Shorter 30 Second Every Year
Spring is here, and you might want to make the most of it because spring has been losing time to summer in the Northern Hemisphere for millenia, meaning that spring 2015 will be about 30 seconds shorter than 2014.
According to Gavin Schmidt, director of Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, at that exact moment, which is known as the vernal equinox, the axis of Earth will reach a halfway mark, where it points neither toward the sun (as it does on the summer solstice) nor away from the sun (as it does on the winter solstice).
Spring starts at 1845 Eastern, Friday evening, this year; it officially starts at 6:45 p.m. ET on Friday, March 20 according to the U.S. National Weather Service (NSW).
As the years go on, spring will lose time to summer, and winter will lose time to autumn in the Northern Hemisphere for thousands of years. In the year of 3000, seasonal lengths will have shifted in the Northern Hemisphere: summer will be 93-92 days, while spring will be 91-97 days, autumn 90-61 days and winter 88-74 days, said Larry Gerstman, an amateur astronomer in New York.
The main reason spring is getting shorter is that Earth's axis itself moves, much like a wobbling top, in a type of motion called precession. Spring ends at the summer solstice, and because of precession, the point along Earth's orbit where the planet reaches the summer solstice shifts slightly. Next year, the planet will reach the point in its orbit of the solstice slightly earlier. Thus, spring will end, and summer will begin, just a little bit earlier in the year.
The change in time in the season of flowers and showers is not enough that most people will notice any change over the course of their lifetime, but taken over thousands of years, it can make quite a difference.
Do not worry much about the change; it is not something that anyone is going to notice unless you're an astronomer. The average person living their routine life will not notice that spring is getting shorter. They are far more likely to notice earlier blooms and warmer days more rapidly in the season gratitude to climate change.