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Every scientific theory on why the Earth is spinning faster that usual

Scientists at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory have found evidence that the Earth has spun faster. 

Our planet has recorded its shortest day since the 1960s, according to measurements reported by scientists.

As the reports left many intrigued, we take a look into all the different theories why the Earth is spinning faster than before.


The Earth spins faster than usual

On June 29th, 2022, our planet made its full spin for less than 24 hours.

New measurements from UK’s National Physical Laboratory found that the Earth completed a full spin in about 1.59 milliseconds less than its standard timeframe.

According to “Earth has recorded its shortest day since scientists began using atomic clocks to measure its rotational speed.

“On June 29, 2022, Earth completed one spin in 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours. This is the latest in a series of speed records for Earth since 2020.”

If the Earth continues to move speedily, we may have to remove a second from our atomic clocks.


Theories why this happened

While there is no exact evidence why our planet completed a full spin faster than before, there are several theories why this could have happened.

One of the theories refers to glaciers’ melting which could impact the weight of poles, which is known as “glacial isostatic adjustment”. The last Ice Age impacted the surface of our planet which significantly affected the length of days and the planet’s topography.

Scientists also believe that the molten core of the Earth’s interior is moving while another theory suggests that seismic activity could affect the way the planet spins.

According to Science Advances, the inner layers of our planet can significantly impact the length of our days because any changes to the Earth’s magnetic field can affect its speed.

Leonid Zotov, Bizouard, and Nikolay Sidorenkov suggest that “Chandler wobble” could be another reason why the Earth had a shorter day. It is a term given to “irregular movement” of our planet’s geographical poles across the surface of the globe.

Scientists also believe that it could be down to the Earth’s outer layers, tides, as well as climate change.

Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

What issues can this bring?

The reports have brought some concerns about potential issues the Earth could face if it keeps spinning faster.

“If Earth’s fast rotation continues, it could lead to the introduction of the first-ever negative leap second,” astrophysicist Graham Jones said ( 

Jones continued: “This would be required to keep civil time — which is based on the super-steady beat of atomic clocks — in step with solar time, which is based on the movement of the sun across the sky.

“A negative leap second would mean that our clocks skip one second, which could potentially create problems for IT systems.”

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