According to researchers, the Earth rotates on its axis in 24 hours. Some major developments recently followed show that the Earth is in a hurry to complete its days this year. Interestingly, June 29 was the shortest day in history.
Previous scientists speculated that the Earth’s rotation was slowing down. On June 29, this speculation came true when mother planet completed its rotation in 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours.
The change in time was recorded by the atomic clock used to measure the planet’s rotational speed in great detail.
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In 2020, media reports reported that July 19 was the shortest day of that year at 1.47 milliseconds less than 24 hours. In 2021 the shortest day was a fraction longer than in 2020.
Why is Earth’s rotational time decreasing?
The rotation of the earth is influenced by various natural forces. These include oceans, churning of inner and outer layers, and even climate. While scientists are still trying to assess the main cause of the change in Earth’s rotational speed, many people are pointing out that it is related to the Chandler wobble.
According to NASA, Chandler Wobble is a motion exhibited by the Earth as it rotates on its axis. In 2000, scientists said the main reason for the Chandler’s wobble is the fluctuating pressure on the ocean floor, caused by changes in temperature and salinity and wind-induced changes in the circulation of the oceans.
Changes in pressure on the ocean floor are the main cause of two-thirds of Chandler’s fluctuations, and atmospheric pressure causes the rest of the fluctuations. In simpler words, it is an irregular movement of the Earth’s poles across the planet’s surface.
Scientists around the world are working to understand what impact this change in Earth’s rotational speed will have when put together in a century.
Many argue that if the Earth continues to spin faster and complete days in less than 24 hours, they should add a negative leap second.
In particular, adding a negative leap second will cause more problems. The information and technology sector would be most affected.
Meta campaigns against adding a leap second. The recent blog mentions how making the above change will involve a time jump. According to TBEN, this will crash computer programs and corrupt data if timestamps change.
The annual meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society is expected to provide more details on the slowing trend in Earth’s rotation.