The Earth has been spinning faster lately

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Scientists around the world have noticed that the Earth has been rotating on its axis faster recently – the fastest ever. Many scholars Talk To the press about this unusual phenomenon, as some pointed out that the past year witnessed some of the shortest days on record.

For most of human history, time has been marked with a 24-hour day / night cycle (with some adjustments made to rest as the seasons change). This cycle is governed by the speed at which the planet rotates on its axis. Because of this, the length of the day has become the standard by which to set time – each day lasts approximately 86,400 seconds. The day / night cycle is remarkably consistent despite the fact that it varies slightly on a regular basis.

Several decades ago, the development of atomic clocks began allowing scientists to record the passage of time in incredibly small increments, which in turn allow measuring the length of a given day down to a fraction of a second. This led to the discovery that the planet’s rotation is, in fact, much more variable than previously thought. Since these measurements began, scientists have also discovered that the Earth has been slowing its rotation very gradually (it was offset by the introduction of a leap second every now and then) – until last year, when it started spinning faster – so much so that some of the field began to question whether there was a need. To a second negative negative jump this year, an unprecedented suggestion. Scientists also note that last summer, on July 19, was the shortest day ever recorded – 1.4602 milliseconds shorter than standard.

Planetary scientists are not interested in this new discovery; They learned that there are many factors that influence planetary rotation – including moon clouds, snowfall levels, and mountain erosion. They also began to wonder if he was Global Warming It may push the ground to turn faster as the snowy peaks and high snowfall begin to disappear. On the other hand, computer scientists are somewhat concerned with the variation in rotational speed – a lot of Modern technology It is based on what they describe as “real time”. Adding a negative leap second could lead to problems, so some have suggested converting world clocks from solar time to atomic time. time.

The Leap Second 2016: Why New Year’s Eve Will Have An Extra Second

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