The Rate of Earth’s Spin Appears to Be Accelerating

Earth is spinning faster than it has for 50 years (and we might have to ‘subtract’ a second)

The friction of the tides and the change in distance between the Earth and the Moon all make for daily variations in the speed the planet rotates on its axis. While past year felt never-ending for so many since the world went into lockdown last March due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 actually had the shortest days on record, according to

Reportedly, the shortest day was recorded on July 19 a year ago - it was 1.4602 milliseconds shorter than 24 hours.

The speed of the planet's rotations depends on the frequently complex motion of the innermost molten core along with its oceans, atmosphere, natural satellites, and other celestial bodies. UTC, on the other hand, is based on worldwide atomic time, which is tracked with 400 ultra-sensitive atomic clocks, located in 90 laboratories around the world.

As a result, experts are considering the use of a leap second used from time to time to align atomic time with solar time and to adjust the integrated universal time. Since 1972, Scientists added jump seconds each year And a half, on average, step National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). There were 27 leap seconds between then and 2016, all the pluses adding an extra second to our watches and allowing the Earth to catch up. That said, the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, which decides on such matters, now has no plans to do so.

For years, the Earth's rotation has taken slightly longer than 24 hours per day. It would amount to an accumulated lag of about 19 milliseconds on the atomic clocks by year-end, they suggested.

Since the rotation speed of our planet was a bit fast previous year, we have to believe that even the Earth wanted to finish 2020 soon, According to scientists interviewed by the British newspaper The Telegraph And Online Science Journal of Physics.

Earth is spinning faster than it has for 50 years (and we might have to ‘subtract’ a second)

This isn't the first time the atomic time has been adjusted. The Earth is now spinning just a bit faster than it has for millennia and the full rotation is slightly less than 24 hours now.

While leap seconds are great to keep astronomical observations synced with clock time, they can prove to be a problem for telecommunications infrastructure as well as data-logging applications.

For decades, the Earth appeared to rotate very slowly on average. Scientists claim that on average, days are about 0.5 seconds shorter than 24 hours. Each 24-hour day is made up of 86,400 seconds. To keep it accurate, the need to put necessary leap seconds is implemented to keep it coordinated with the UTC.

"There are also global discussions taking place about the future of leap seconds, and it's also possible that the need for a negative leap second might push the decision towards ending leap seconds for good", he said. For instance, 19 July 2020 fell 1.4602 milliseconds short of a full 24 hours.

Additionally, the quickened speed of Earth's rotation would cause more hurricanes because the increased water levels near the equators would come along with huge amounts of humidity that will create a band of fog around the equator.



Other news