We are all accustomed to the fact that the Earth rotates on its axis from west to east. Such a movement of the planet seems completely natural and it is impossible to imagine that it could be otherwise.
But what if for some reason, the Earth suddenly changes direction? The very obvious thing we can already imagine is that the Sun will rise in the West. And here are some other interesting things that will take place.
Scenario-1: A Sudden Change of Course
To begin with, if the Earth’s rotation changes suddenly, then everything on its surface will simply be swept away. After all, the planet’s rotation speed is simply enormous. A sudden change of course will give everything on its surface a strong inertial kick.
Not only that but such a strong change of direction will also give the continental plates a head-on collision, resulting in powerful volcanic eruptions, deadly earthquakes, and massive tsunamis.
Even if the tectonic plates stay in place, this sudden stop from a speed of over 1670 km/h will simply spill all the water in the oceans right on our heads. So, this would be a disaster of biblical proportions. Most of the animal species including humans will go extinct in a matter of seconds.
Scenario-2: Gradual change of course
If the Earth changes its direction rather smoothly. This will have to take place in two phases. First, it will gradually slow down from its rotational speed of 1670 km to zero in a matter of days or even weeks.
Theoretically, this will not threaten anything, but some very obvious changes will start taking place. For instance, depending upon the rate of change, days and nights will gradually elongate. A just half its current speed, a day would be 24 hours long and we will have a generous 24 hours of night time to sleep tight.
As the Earth starts rotating in the opposite direction with increasing acceleration, our days and nights will gradually come back to 12 hours period but this time with a Sun that rises in the west and sets in the east.
Researchers at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr, Germany, created a computer model of the planet, which rotated in the opposite direction.
The computer simulation study predicted some interesting climate change scenarios. Scientists came to the conclusion that, first of all, the wind direction will change. As a result, the famous Gulf Stream is likely to disappear, and instead, a new air current will appear in the Pacific Ocean, which will distribute heat throughout the planet.
African and Asian deserts will turn into plains covered with greenery and forests. An arid climate would welcome North and South America. The rain forest in Brazil will turn into a desert like the Sahara.