Earth’s Core Is Cooling Faster Than Expected

Deepak Gupta January 19, 2022
Updated 2022/01/19 at 1:42 AM

Researchers at the Carnegie Institution, in Washington, United States, published a scientific article, which points to a greater-than-anticipated heat flux in the Earth’s core. The results found suggest that the natural process of Core cooling is happening faster than expected.

Professor Motohiko Murakami and his team created a spulsed laser heated diamond optical absorption measuring system to simulate the environment between the inner part of the mantle and the outer part of the core. The movements of the Earth’s core and the consequent thermal flow of energy promote a natural cooling, as expected. What the study points out is that such cooling should happen 1.5 times faster than what was previously theorized.

The outermost layer of the core and the innermost layer of the mantle is formed by an ore known as “bridgmanite” (magnesium silicate perovskite is its scientific name). However, analyzing its thermal conductivity is complicated, due to its depth. What the Carnegie researchers did was simulate the layer in a laboratory environment. According to Murakami, the research pointed to bridgmanite’s thermal conduction capacity 1.5 times faster than expected.

In the image below, you see a capture of how the process was performed. Using the diamond to simulate the layers, the laser was aimed at the center to create an environment of high pressure and temperature.

Is the cooling natural?

The thermal flow of the core carries out the transport of heat from the interior of the Earth – through the process of mantle convection – to the outside. The process is natural and influences the movements of tectonic plates.

However, what the study indicates is that the Earth’s cooling may be happening faster than we think, altering tectonic movements. According to Murakami, the results of the study offer a new perspective on the evolution of Earth’s dynamics “The results suggest that Earth, like other rocky planets, is cooling and becoming less active at a much faster rate.”

It is important to point out that the Core cooling is natural and should take millions of years to significantly alter the dynamics of the planet. Furthermore, the study does not trace any relationship with the theme of global warming.

You can check out the study in its entirety. clicking here


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Via: Earth and Planetary Science Letters Source: Schitechdaily

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