The Earth has slowed down for 50 years – now scientists think they know why

The Earth has begun to spin at a slower speed, making the days longer. Scientists struggle to understand why.

In general, there are a couple of processes to point to that have lengthened Earth’s day from its roughly 86,400 second length.

– Over millions of years, the planet’s rotation has been slowed down due to friction caused by the moon.

– Every 100 years, around 2.3 milliseconds are added to the length of a day – billions of years ago, a day on Earth lasted only 19 hours.

Rotates slower

Now, however, the earth’s decreasing rotation speed is an indisputable fact and it has been going on for the last 50 years.

Overall, Earth’s rotation has slowed by about 6 hours over the past 2,740 years, according to a study published in The Royal Society in 2016, reproduced by Independent.

“It is found that the rate of rotation deviates from uniformity, so that the change in the length of the mean solar day (lod) increases at an average rate of +1.8 ms per century. This is significantly less than the speed predicted on the basis of tidal friction, which is +2.3 ms per century,” the researchers wrote in the report.

The world’s shortest day

Earth reached its shortest day since the invention of the atomic clock on June 29, 2022, but the general trend is for days to get longer – with no explanation readily available.

There are some theories: Weather systems that melt the ice caps could have a long-term effect, as the planet at lower altitudes shrinks inward. However, these have been decreasing at a steady rate, so it may not suit such a sudden change.

See also  Top ten most used characters in MOBA

It is possible that fluctuations in the planet’s rotation rate known as the “Chandler Oscillation” – where small, irregular movements of the Earth’s geographic poles across the surface of the globe – could cause an impact.

Finally, processes in the Earth’s inner or outer layers, oceans, tides, or even climate can cause it.

Large earthquakes can also change the length of a day, but this effect is usually minimal.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.