Science & Tech

The Earth's core has slowed down so much that it's now in reverse, worrying study discovers

The Earth's core has slowed down so much that it's now in reverse, worrying study discovers
What If Earth's Core Stopped Spinning?
Underknown / VideoElephant

A new study has revealed that the Earth’s core rotation has slowed down so much it has actually reversed.

While there’s still plenty about our planet that leaves scientists baffled, what we do know is our planet is made up of different layers: the crust, mantle, and core.

Now a new study has suggested that the speed of the Earth’s core has dramatically slowed and is spinning independently from our planet in reverse.

The core is the hottest part of the planet with a level of heat equivalent to that of the surface of the Sun. But, at 5,180 kilometres down inside the Earth, the mainly iron and nickel solid core that is around 70 per cent of the size of the moon, is rotating in reverse.

Since Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann made the discovery about Earth’s inner core in 1936, experts have continued to study its behaviour and debate its speed and rotation

Now, it appears a theory put forward in 2023 has been proven correct after a recent study published in the Nature journal used data from seismograms gathered during earthquakes and explosions which suggest the planet’s core has been decelerating compared to the surface of the Earth.

The study's co-author, Dr. John Vidale, Dean’s Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is quoted as saying:

“We’ve been arguing about this for 20 years, and I think this nails it. I think we’ve ended the debate on whether the inner core moves, and what’s been its pattern for the last couple of decades.”

The results support the highly debated 2023 claims made by some scientists’ that the Earth’s core slowdown is part of a decades-long phenomenon of slowing down and speeding up.

The proposed model argued that, in the past, the Earth’s core has spun quicker than the planet’s crust, then at the same speed, but that it is now spinning so slow that it has now begun to reverse direction.

Will this impact our lives as humans? It's unlikely. The shifts in rotation are equal to mere thousandths of a second in day's length. Vidale adds: "In terms of that effect in a person’s lifetime? I can’t imagine it means much.”

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