While scientists were unanimous for a long time on the fact that the Earth was rotating less and less quickly, the latest readings contradict them…
A day on Earth corresponds to 24 hours, or 86,400 seconds. This is the time the Earth takes to rotate. But in fact, this is not necessarily the reality.
And this duration has not always been the same over time.
Indeed, scientists have demonstrated for many years and after much research that the Earth’s rotational speed has been decreasing for more than four thousand yearsthus lengthening the length of the day.
The calculation establishes that every century, the Earth takes a few milliseconds or more to complete one rotation.
A tiny duration but which can be important.
But for some time now a strange phenomenon has reversed the trend.
Speed records recorded
Yet the June 29, 2022the shortest day was recorded by the atomic clock.
That day, the rotation time lasted 24 hours minus 1.59 milliseconds. But this is a new record after the one recorded on July 19, 2020 with less than 1.47 milliseconds.
Even this July 26, 2022the duration has been shortened by 1.50 millisecondsas reported by Time and Date.
In fact, dhe day to day, the time it takes for the Earth to rotate increases or decreases by a fraction of a millisecond.
What’s happening ?
The concern is that the scientists can’t explain precisely why such a phenomenon acceleration occurs.
It is true that the variation of the speed of rotation of the Earth depends on several factors.
According to ANFR, the national frequency agency, different avenues can be considered.
Like the structure or density of the earth, the gravitational effects of the moon, the water movements of seas or oceans as well as solid elements such as glaciers, currents….
All of this is part of the processes that can influence the speed of rotation of the earth.
An element could also explain this change of speed: it is about the oscillation of Chandler.
The oscillation of the axis of rotation of the Earth with respect to its surface varies from 3 to 6 meters at the poles. The movement repeats itself approximately every 433 days, recalls the American Geophysical Union, as reported by Numerama.
What are the consequences if the phenomenon persists?
If the Earth’s rapid rotation continues, it could lead to the introduction of the first ever negative leap second, meaning a day would last 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds, not 24 hours.
And that would be a problem.
It would then be necessary to add a negative leap second to the length of our days which would mean that our clocks jump a second, which could potentially create serious problems for computer systems.
But before getting to a second less on the day, we hope it will take some time…