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Scientists have confirmed that the rotation of the Earth's inner core is indeed slowing down

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun15,2024

Scientists confirmed that the rotation of the Earth's inner core is indeed slowing down

The rotation of the Earth's inner core has indeed slowed down, a new study has confirmed, raising questions about what is happening at the center of the planet and how it might affect us.< /p>

Researchers led by a team from the University of Southern California (USC) believe that this change in the rotation of the core could change the length of our days — albeit only by a few fractions of a second, so you don't need to reset your clocks just yet. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature.

“When I first saw the seismograms hinting at this change, I was confused “, – says geoscientist John Vidale from the University of Southern California. “But when we found two dozen more observations signaling the same pattern, the result became obvious.”

“The inner core has slowed down for the first time in decades. Other scientists have recently argued for similar and different models, but our latest study provides the most convincing evidence.”

Scientists have confirmed that the rotation of the Earth's inner core is indeed slowing down

Researchers monitored the activity of seismic waves all over the globe

The inner core — it is a superhot, superdense ball of iron and nickel that is believed to be about a third smaller than the Moon. Located more than 4,800 kilometers below our feet, it is far from the easiest object to study, although studying its features can tell a lot about the history of our planet.

In this study, Vidale and his colleagues analyzed evidence from 121 recurring earthquakes recorded between 1991 and 2023 in the South Sandwich Islands region of the South Atlantic. They also added several nuclear tests to the database. Each of these events caused significant oscillations across the planet.

Scientists have confirmed that the rotation of the Earth's inner core is indeed slowing down

Scheme of different layers of the planet to the core

By watching how these waves accelerate, decelerate and interact, researchers can estimate the position and motion of the inner core. Its apparent drift from the surface, which began around 2010, may be due to the constant motion of the outer liquid iron core, which generates the Earth's magnetic field, the team suggests, or gravitational pull.

What this means, we we don't know yet. Speed ​​changes, reversals, and oscillations of the inner core are not uncommon, so there is no indication that we are in for an apocalyptic disaster like in some fantasy movie. We may experience small shifts in day and night, but very small.

“It will be very hard to see, about a thousandth of a second, almost lost in the noise of the shifting oceans and atmosphere,” – says Vidale.

What we can say for sure is that the study adds to our understanding of the mysteries of the geological depths – and the rotation of the Earth's inner core – it's something scientists are going to continue to watch very closely.

“The dance of the inner core may be even more lively than we've suspected so far,” Vidale says.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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