The World Is Spinning Faster Than Ever

The World Is Spinning Faster Than Ever
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If the days seem to be getting shorter; They are and have been since the summer solstice in June. But the earth recently recorded its shortest day for a completely different and unusual reason – the earth is spinning faster. Scientists have found the development confusing, although they have some theories as to why it happened and what effects it might have on our lives.

Close-up of a woman checking the time on her smart watch.

June 29, 2022 is 1.59 milliseconds shorter than the average day, scientist Leonid Zotov told CBS News. The normal length of a day is 24 hours or 86,400 seconds. But in the last few years, Earth’s rotation has accelerated, and on some days, milliseconds have dwindled. “Since 2016, the Earth has started accelerating,” Zotov said. published a study last March On what could cause changes in the Earth’s rotation. “This year is spinning faster than 2021 and 2020.”

hill keep alarm clock

This incremental rotation isn’t getting shorter every day—just once in a while. But if it continues, the main way of measuring time on Earth – a universal, high-precision method known as atomic time – may need to change. It may be necessary to add a negative leap second where clocks will skip just one second. “We’re adjusting the atomic clock scale because we can’t change the clock arrows due to Earth’s rotation,” Zotov said.

In System Control Room, Technical Operator Stands and Displays Various Activities on Multiple Screens with Graphics

But not all scientists are in favor of the negative leap second. In fact, Meta engineers Oleg Obleukhov and Ahmad Byagowi recently wrote a blog post criticizing the idea. They said it could cause serious glitches in technology such as data corruption. The concept has never been tested.

polar iceberg

Some scientists theorize Earth’s tides. Others think that the constant melting and refreezing of polar ice caps is causing the earth’s rotation to speed up and slow down.

“It’s all about the law of conservation of momentum that applies to our planet Earth. Every atom on the planet contributes to the momentum of the earth’s angular velocity depending on the distance from the earth’s axis of rotation,” Obleukhov and Byagowi told CBS. . “So, once things move, the earth’s angular velocity can change.”

Professional skater Valentina Marchei.

“This phenomenon can be visualized simply by thinking of a figure skater managing angular velocity by controlling her arms and hands,” they said. “As she opens her arms, the angular velocity decreases, the skater’s momentum is conserved. As soon as the skater puts her arms back, the angular velocity increases. The same is happening here right now because of rising temperatures on Earth. The ice sheets are melting and causing this angular velocity increase.”

The skyscraper of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the City of Geneva on a sunny summer day.

In 2020, the planet experienced 28 shortest days in the last 50 years. The international Telecommunication Union of the United Nations began adding occasional leap seconds in June or December. The first leap second was added in 1972, and 26 more have been added since then.

According to Ars Technica, it now runs from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 to 00:00:00 per second. The “leap second” in the middle has caused technical problems in the past: the leap second added in 2012 caused crashes on Reddit, Gawker, and Australian airline Qantas. In 2017, it beat Cloudflare by a second.

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