January 7th, 2020


(no subject)

arXiv:2001.01521 [pdf, other]
Can the earth be flat ? A physical oceanographer's perspective
Charly de Marez, Mathieu Le Corre
Subjects: Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (physics.ao-ph)

According to a recent survey, 2% of the U.S. population is convinced that the earth is flat. This idea is heralded by members of the Flat Earth Society, and promulgated through Internet forums and other public media channels. Children and young students are easy targets. As a science teacher confronted by these ideas, it can be a challenge to firmly confront their fundamentally flawed foundation while still remaining compassionate towards those who espouse such beliefs. While we do not purport to have the answer for such difficult situations, as two scientists studying ocean physics, we attempt to lend a helping hand to the interested instructor. Here, we use the most advanced computational tools of the physical oceanography community to show that the properties of the ocean that we observe from ships, satellites, and autonomous observing platforms should not exist if the earth were flat. In particular, using the first realistic simulation of the ocean on a flat Earth, we show that the North Atlantic gyre, appears entirely different on a flat Earth. For members of the physical oceanography community, the results presented here are obvious; however, for the Flat Earth Society community, it may present an intellectual challenge.