The landscape unfolds, the earth is spinning faster and faster but the days are getting longer. How is that possible?
All studies of the past 10 years related to our planet record data on the acceleration of the Earth. This trend has shortened our days. In fact, in June 2022, we set a record for the shortest day in the last half century.
Despite this, a strange slowdown has been observed lately. A stage in the total opposite direction showed scientists very long days.
But how does this thing work? Over the course of millions of years, the Earth’s rotation has slowed due to the frictional effects associated with the moon’s tides. This process adds about 2.3 milliseconds to the duration of each day, each century. A few billion years ago, an Earth day lasted only 19 hours. However, in the past twenty thousand years, another process worked in the opposite direction, accelerating the rotation of the Earth. When the last ice age ended, the melting of the polar caps lowered surface pressure and the Earth’s mantle began to move constantly towards the poles.
Now, even though Earth reached its shortest day a few months ago, the long-term path appears to have shifted from shortening to lengthening by 2020. This change is unprecedented in the past 50 years.
Scientists have speculated that this last and mysterious change in the planet’s rotation speed is linked to a phenomenon called “Chandler’s oscillation” – a small deviation in the Earth’s rotation axis over a period of about 430 days. Observations from radio telescopes also show that oscillation has decreased in recent years and the two events can be linked.
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