What if the Earth would have spin around itself twice as it's speed?

Summary: What if the Earth would have spin around itself twice as it's speed?

What would have be the consequences? How would has it affect the climate and living things?
 

sophiecentaur

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Summary: What if the Earth would have spin around itself twice as it's speed?

What would have be the consequences? How would has it affect the climate and living things?
This reads like a homework assignment. So I ask you what are your views on the subject? You can expect some responses, once you have given some of your own input.
 
This reads like a homework assignment. So I ask you what are your views on the subject? You can expect some responses, once you have given some of your own input.
Firstly it is not a homework. My views about this;

The climate would have been different than the way it is today,

The equator's around would be under water,

Gravity would be less affect in equator,

We could see other side of the moon,

It is for a story that i write. I wanted to year different views.
 

sophiecentaur

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Yes, that's better. I can now respond.
The equator's around would be under water,
Why? Some physics needed here.
We could see other side of the moon,
How? Are you talking about tidal locking being different? The Physics would suggest otherwise.
How do you think a faster day / night cycle could affect the temperatures at the surface? (I think the more subtle effects could be ignored in a simple treatment).
 

Nugatory

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Gravity would be less affect in equator,
How large would this effect be? Would it even be noticeable?
(The point of this question is to get you to think about how you might calculate the effect)
 
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The equator's around would be under water,
It wouldn't, or at least not more than today. The shape of Earth would be different, it would be even more oblate than it is today, and as result oceans and solid land can still exist everywhere.
We could see other side of the moon,
No. We can't see the other side because the rotation of the Moon matches its orbital period, this is independent of the rotation of Earth.
 

pinball1970

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Summary: What if the Earth would have spin around itself twice as it's speed?

What would have be the consequences? How would has it affect the climate and living things?
The Biology on the planet would be completely different and working to a 12 hour day.
Circadian rhythm, life span, life cycle, photosynthesis, metabolism, migration, sexual patterns. Everything.
I've no idea on the physical science some of those have been touched on above.
 

sophiecentaur

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completely different
Not "completely". It would be based around all the same chemicals. Photosynthesis would be the main mechanism for energy conversion and for changing the atmosphere from a reducing to an oxidising one. faster diurnal temperature changes so less diurnal variation. That would avoid hottest and coldest extremes in summer and winter.
Smaller or larger leaves on plants? Perhaps not and I cannot think of reasons why.

Loads of material for invention. Perhaps a check with PF when the OP has a scenario in mind?
 

pinball1970

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Not "completely". It would be based around all the same chemicals. Photosynthesis would be the main mechanism for energy conversion and for changing the atmosphere from a reducing to an oxidising one. faster diurnal temperature changes so less diurnal variation. That would avoid hottest and coldest extremes in summer and winter.
Smaller or larger leaves on plants? Perhaps not and I cannot think of reasons why.

Loads of material for invention. Perhaps a check with PF when the OP has a scenario in mind?
The evolution of the available chemistry would be different so the resulting chemistry would be different. Perhaps different enough not allow self replicating molecules to get started? Or cellular organisms? Or multicellular organisms? Or intelligent life? I would also be interested in arguments on whether liquid water would be around in the quantities it is today.
 

jim mcnamara

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Early Earth had a daylength of ~4 hours. Over time tidal forces from the moon have slowed the period of rotation. So, for example, during Cretaceous times (Dinosaur times) days were shorter than today, by about 1 hour.


So all this discussion does not seem necessary to me. No massive changes. The Earth already experienced a "spin" factor about 6 times faster than now. Way back at the beginning. So any and all effects of shorter days have already happened. Most of the effects were related to the tidal pull of the moon when it was a whole lot closer to Earth. Land and ocean tides being one of them.


And day length is still getting longer - not by a lot, but we can see it expressed for us as 'leap second' -


In other words, we already did the 'what if' question the OP asked. And more. Case closed, IMO.
 

pinball1970

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Early Earth had a daylength of ~4 hours. Over time tidal forces from the moon have slowed the period of rotation. So, for example, during Cretaceous times (Dinosaur times) days were shorter than today, by about 1 hour.


So all this discussion does not seem necessary to me. No massive changes. The Earth already experienced a "spin" factor about 6 times faster than now. Way back at the beginning. So any and all effects of shorter days have already happened. Most of the effects were related to the tidal pull of the moon when it was a whole lot closer to Earth. Land and ocean tides being one of them.


And day length is still getting longer - not by a lot, but we can see it expressed for us as 'leap second' -


In other words, we already did the 'what if' question the OP asked. And more. Case closed, IMO.
I disagree, there is no way we can ever reverse the experiment BUT if we changed one of the parameters by a factor of 2 on this earth thought experiment, do you not think the results would be different? In this case light and heat?
 

jim mcnamara

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@pinball1970
You do not change Physics of just one thing when you change rotation rate. Radiative heat loss/gain would change. i.e., colder at night, warmer in day --- When you have long periods of rotation compared to shorter periods. Whether you wanted it or not.

You are free to disagree but you're side stepping issues doing so. All of the "fast" rotational effects actually happened really long ago.

To have them persist into the present you need to stop or to slow tidal friction: one way is to lose the moon's effect by having no moon and additional accretion of protoEarth to make up for the loss of that mass.

But. Then you lose other diurnal biological rhythms' effects later. Moon phase affects the timing of teleost (bony fish) egg laying, for example. Those behaviors would never evolve to start with. Not mention the way biological effects work based on the sun's position or longday/shortday - short day plant flowering and reproduction.

The problem with the OP's question is that the examples and some answers given come from all over the place with effects and requirments not accounted for. It's a kind of speculation without physical limits, IMO.

Have fun making up stuff, just try to think it through first. There is a difference between thought experiment and pure unbounded speculation.
 

jim mcnamara

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My bad. I did not read the purpose of the question: Write a story. Don't worry about Science, this is being moved to world building. Should have done that before now. Sorry.
 

pinball1970

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My bad. I did not read the purpose of the question: Write a story. Don't worry about Science, this is being moved to world building. Should have done that before now. Sorry.
Yep me too, I thought this was a serious question or thought experiment.
 

sophiecentaur

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You do not change Physics of just one thing when you change rotation rate. Radiative heat loss/gain would change. i.e., colder at night, warmer in day --- When you have long periods of rotation compared to shorter periods. Whether you wanted it or not.
Why would the mean value of received / radiated heat be different. Based on exponential changes, wouldn't the mean be the same but the peak to peak variation would be less. Is there something else you are including in your idea?
 

sophiecentaur

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Yep me too, I thought this was a serious question or thought experiment.
I think it turned into one, though. There are a lot of valid ideas to kick around here - perhaps too many for one thread.
 

pinball1970

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My bad. I did not read the purpose of the question: Write a story. Don't worry about Science, this is being moved to world building. Should have done that before now. Sorry.
Ok @sophiecentaur has suggested this has legs so…

I do not think this is the same sort of wild speculation like the threads asking if life is ubiquitous in the galaxy/universe.

The OP is suggesting a profound change.

You agree our organs including our brain have evolved working to a (roughly) 12 hour period of light followed by a (roughly) 12 period of darkness?

So that is our systems (sleep, sexual behaviour, eating/digestion/excretion, life cycle) our organs that control those systems, our hormones and chemical signalling proteins that control those organs, our cells that produce those functional proteins and therefore our DNA.

That is just the short day without the quicker changes in temperature in 12 periods considered.

Would a mayfly still have evolved to a 12 or 24 hour life cycle? Would a mayfly have evolved to something completely different?

If a mayfly’s life cycle is tuned on its head why not the all the rest?
 

pinball1970

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I think it turned into one, though. There are a lot of valid ideas to kick around here - perhaps too many for one thread.
I am disagreeing with Jim on biological matters which is probably not a wise thing to do but on this point, I think halving days will impact hugely on biological systems.





I do not think it would be just a matter of biology will cope and operate in half the time or do half as much.





Ill pick one thing, eating a meal. Our gut operates quite well on 3 meals time for digestion and excretions, enzymes time to make chyme and chyle absorption of nutrients etc etc all work to a roughly 12 hour period.





7am breakfast


1 lunch


7 tea (Dinner)





Nice little 5 hour periods which just happens to be the amount of time the stomach is empty so you feel hungry again





Half the day and you get up at 6 eat at 7 then 2 hours after lunch you are ready for bed!





Argument would be we would not eat like that shorter period lighter meals more often? Either the way the gut length structure peristalsis enzymes cell morphology would have to be different





Perhaps a 6 hour day would not lead to intelligence? Not enough time to eat and increase our brains!
 

jim mcnamara

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@sophiecentaur - Yes, average temps are the same. No, daily high low temps are not the same.
I am going to map your comment to a real world environment.

Please see the fuzzy plant picture of Tillandsia tectorum-

Cute huh? They can survive in a high humidity house for long periods without water. Hence the name "air plant". The best part is you cannot tell when you've killed them by not spritzing them often enough. Perfect for my house.

These Andean plants are epiphytes and occur in the Puna (Altiplano) region above ~3500m. They are fully dependent on 24 hour days with fairly equal day/night durations -12 hours - throughout the year:
The lowest daily temperature is generally below frost and occurs at about 5:00 am local time.
The highest temperature is at about 3:00pm and is about 25° C.
So we can take 12°C as the average.
Almost no precipitation.

Virtually all of the plant species high up there are fuzzy (not a botanical term) because that is how they get moisture. Fog does not go up that high, although there can be a few minutes when a foggy haze forms as the frost melts and evaporates.

Frost forms pre-dawn. When the sun first hits the fuzz, it melts and drips off the fuzz onto the ground or accumulates on special spongy tissues on those weird leaves. This is these plants sole form of water input. This view is simplified a bit. There are other species of gigantic plants up there that really drip a lot.

My contention is: a 6 hour day would have an average 12°C as well. But it would not get cold enough at night to freeze water. 6 hours is not long enough for radiative cooling to do that. The fuzzy things would not have evolved. Maybe: The plants would have evolved drip tips instead. But even lower temperatures squeeze more water out of the air. Who knows, it may have just been lichen covered rocks that survive.

This is just a very localized example. Kind of like your motivation: heating a dwelling.

I do not know how shorter radiative day/night duration would affect meteorology. Diurnal period and relative temperature max/min changes definitely affect extant living things.
 

sophiecentaur

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My contention is: a 6 hour day would have an average 12°C as well. But it would not get cold enough at night to freeze water.
That's a point I hadn't thought of and it probably would mean that there would be more contrast in the amount of ice present from equator to poles. Lack of ice in our temperature regions would be balanced by more permanent ice in semi arctic regions (there would have to be a symmetry in this).

I have read and seen TV progs about the phenomenon of Evolutionary Convergence, which is based on observations that any isolated region tends to throw up a population of flora and fauna with bands of species which have very obvious functional parallels with the rest of the world. So you find your prey species, your predator hierarchy, your various composters etc and the same with the flora. So, bearing in mind the same original mix of available chemicals, there is likely to be a similar mix of life with (of course) some differences in size and habit but a very similar basic form.
I can't think why mammals, or equivalent, would not develop and they could be smarter or dumber than our present ones.
I could imagine a difference in overall size of animals because that is already seen in regions of extreme climate. More (or fewer) polar bears perhaps. An equivalent to the Wooly Mammoth might be bigger or smaller.

7am breakfast

1 lunch

7 tea (Dinner)
Lol. A very cosy scenario. What about cows in a field that eat all day and lions that eat like lords after a kill and then sleep for a couple of days?
 

pinball1970

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That's a point I hadn't thought of and it probably would mean that there would be more contrast in the amount of ice present from equator to poles. Lack of ice in our temperature regions would be balanced by more permanent ice in semi arctic regions (there would have to be a symmetry in this).

I have read and seen TV progs about the phenomenon of Evolutionary Convergence, which is based on observations that any isolated region tends to throw up a population of flora and fauna with bands of species which have very obvious functional parallels with the rest of the world. So you find your prey species, your predator hierarchy, your various composters etc and the same with the flora. So, bearing in mind the same original mix of available chemicals, there is likely to be a similar mix of life with (of course) some differences in size and habit but a very similar basic form.
I can't think why mammals, or equivalent, would not develop and they could be smarter or dumber than our present ones.
I could imagine a difference in overall size of animals because that is already seen in regions of extreme climate. More (or fewer) polar bears perhaps. An equivalent to the Wooly Mammoth might be bigger or smaller.


Lol. A very cosy scenario. What about cows in a field that eat all day and lions that eat like lords after a kill and then sleep for a couple of days?
Yes I meant humans on the three squares a day! (Ha ha!)
Cows are a good example, the cow would NOT be able to chew all day because the day would be half as long.
Lions could not sleep all day because they would not have the time to do it.
Sleeping on a huge meal is not great for digestion, perhaps not as bad for lions but not great for us.
Smaller stomachs, smaller everything else I think.
 

sophiecentaur

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There are plenty of plants and animals that have a near 12 hour cycle. The tides have at least as big an influence on coastal organisms. Seals and the like (I.e. Mammals even) are not bothered by the light when they hunt for mollusks at high tide.
Lions don’t care if it’s day or night if they want to sleep for 24 hrs.
Perhaps our descendants will answer this question if ever there is ‘colonisation’ of distant systems but din’t hold yer breath. 😉
 

sophiecentaur

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Chewing for two half days is a good as chewing one whole day, btw.
 
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Why would the mean value of received / radiated heat be different. Based on exponential changes, wouldn't the mean be the same but the peak to peak variation would be less. Is there something else you are including in your idea?
I think the equilibrium temperature shifts.
Have you ever done the simple black body radiation balance equations for the earth and sun ?

You can show, using only Tsun =6000K and that 215xsolar radius=1 astronomical unit, that simple black body radiative balance puts the average Temperature of the earth at just under 300K assuming the earth radiates uniformly. I find this a wonderful result!

If the earth rotates more slowly, the local extrema of surface Temperature will be more pronounced.

The T4 means that radiation will be enhanced by this local variation in T and so the earth will, on average, radiate more and therefore be cooler if it rotates more slowly. Note that the average influx from the sun is unchanged.

So I believe with faster rotation T asymptotically approaches the "uniform" resulting T from below.
 

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