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  Earth's getting chubby!
Updated 02 August 2002, 17.47
Don't worry - it's not THIS fat!
Don't worry - it's not THIS fat!

Did you know the Earth is not round? It's shaped more like a pumpkin, and is fast becoming fatter and fatter.

That's according to scientists who have been keeping an eye on the Earth's curvy figure over the last 25 years.

Earth's girth

The changes are small - only a few millimetres - but have happened suddenly in the last four years.

Fact File
Earth's vital stats
Earth is thinner at the poles
Tilts as it orbits the Sun
Powerful gravity fields act on Earth's layers
Earth has 4 layers
Mantle lies between crust and core
Mantle is partly molten (melted rock)

Using special satellites, scientists found that thousands of years ago the Earth lost some of its podgy shape, when massive amounts of ice melted after the last Ice Age.

Bouncing back

But the surprising fact the scientists have now discovered is that since 1998, the opposite has happened and it's getting fatter again!

They reckon it could be down to the effects gravity has on the planet.

It's all quite complicated so the scientists need to do some more studies, but the changes are nothing to worry about!

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More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutFind out about global warming
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ChatEnvironment chat!
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Melting ice brings new global warming worry
Huge Antarctic ice shelf collapses

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