Confusion in the scientific community. For years it has been warned that the Earth is spinning faster than it used to. However, in the last two months several days have been measured in which its duration has been less than the 24 hours that each day lasts.
In fact, this year has seen the shortest day since the 1960s, when atomic clocks began to be used to measure the Earth’s rotation. It was June 29, a day that lacked 1.59 milliseconds to reach 24 hours, something that was repeated on July 26, a day that lacked 1.50 milliseconds. What are the consequences of the acceleration of its rotation? How can it affect us?
It is not known exactly what is happening, what is more, a large part of the scientific community indicates that the opposite should be happening. That is, the Earth rotated more slowly. Actually this is what has been happening in the last few decades due to the gravitational pull of the Moon. However, they miss the latest episodes of acceleration.
Already in 2020 it was reported that the Earth had recorded 28 shorter days since measurements began in the 1960s, marking in that year the shortest day on July 19, with 1.47 milliseconds less than it should. However, it has been in 2022 when even shorter days have been detected, according to data collected by the atomic clock.
Why is this happening?
One of the possibilities that the speed of the Earth has increased may be related to the internal or external layers of the planet, as well as its oceans, tides or climate, although it is difficult to find that relationship.
The possibility that it is related to the “Chandler wobble”, an irregular movement of the Earth’s poles on the surface, is also not ruled out. The melting would also be playing a fundamental role in this wobble, changing the distribution of mass on the Earth’s surface and moving it from the poles to other central areas.
How does it affect?
And all this, how does it affect us? If this trend continues, it could cause us to find ourselves before the first negative second, which means nothing more than that our clocks would have to skip a second, something that does not seem to have serious consequences at first glance, but it does for GPS systems, communications or in those computer systems that depend on timers.
Although humans, animals and plants will not be affected by a tiny change in the Earth’s rotation, a decrease in the length of days could have a “devastating effect” on technological devices.
Some technological creations, including cell phones, take the time system of atomic clocks as their time reference. When there is an alteration in the patterns, the programs are forced to introduce negative leap seconds to compensate for the lost time.