February 8, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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The Earth’s core rotates slowly and in the opposite direction, making the days a little longer

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While previous research showed that Earth’s core is spinning, a new study now indicates that everything stopped spinning in 2009. It will even start spinning in the other direction, resulting in longer days.

Gene EkmansSource: The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, Daily Mail

Based on data from the 1960s, researchers at Peking University analyzed the rotation of the Earth’s core. From the results published Monday in the Natural Earth SciencesIt turns out that the direction in which that core rotates changes and that this happens once every 70 years.

inside the ground

The world consists of different layers. First of all, there is a solid core consisting of iron and nickel with a radius of about 1200 km. It is surrounded by a layer of liquid that is about twice as thick as it is. Around that there is another layer of hot rock and a thin crust of rock on the outside.

Since the inner core is in the liquid outer core, it can rotate. The liquid outer core generates a magnetic field that determines in which direction and at what speed the inner core rotates. It can vary.

New study

Previous studies have shown that the core rotates faster than Earth on its axis. But Chinese researchers have found that since 2009, it appears to be slowing and even reversing. This isn’t the first time this has happened, by the way. There was also such a shift in the 70s. According to researchers, this phenomenon occurs every few decades.

Results

It seems a remarkable discovery that the Earth’s core suddenly begins to rotate in the other direction. Changes in the rotation of the core also affect the speed at which the Earth rotates on its axis. Concretely, the current slowdown can cause the days to lengthen. But this effect on the length of our days is limited. Every now and then, only a few leap seconds are added to calendar time to keep it accurate. Since the 1970s, 27 seconds have had to be added.

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