(USNewsMag.com) – A shocking study published January 23, 2023, claims that the speed of rotation of the Earth’s core has slowed substantially since the mid-1990s and is beginning to lag behind the rest of the planet’s layers.
According to the Washington Post, the claim that the superheated ball of iron that makes up the Earth’s core was rotating faster than the other layers of the planet was first made in 1996. The study found, based on the travel time of seismic waves that cross the Earth’s inner core, that the rotation rate of our core was one degree per year faster than that of the Earth’s crust and mantle.
The new study claims that in 2009, the core had slowed enough to move in sync with the other layers of the planet. Since then, it is believed that the pace of the core’s rotation is beginning to lag behind the rest of the planet.
The Earth’s core potentially influences the length of a day on Earth, and according to our understanding, it is responsible for fluctuations in the magnetic field which protects the Earth from cosmic radiation emitted by the Sun.
While scientists do not believe the changes in the rotation of Earth’s core is a harbinger of doom, citing a similar fluctuation that occurred from the late 1960s to 1970s, it may indicate a process we do not yet understand. Even more intriguing, a different study from Peking University in Beijing claims that the core nearly stopped in 2009 and has since begun spinning in the opposite direction.
Some research published in 2022 claimed the core might reverse direction nearly every three years. While more research is required for us to fully understand what is going on deep beneath Earth’s surface, it is clear that seismic analysis shows changes in the rate at which seismic waves travel through the core. According to our understanding, the mathematical calculations indicate changes are occurring, whether a consensus on the interpretation has been reached or not.
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