The Earth is rotating faster than usual. Scientists are worried

Deepak Gupta August 1, 2022
Updated 2022/08/01 at 11:16 PM

There is a phenomenon that agitates the scientific class. Researchers were stunned after discovering that the Earth rotates faster than usual. This behavior makes the days shorter than usual. The phenomenon has already been addressed in the past and since then the values ​​of rotational speed have increased.

New measurements made by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory show that the Earth is currently spinning faster than it was half a century ago.

The Earth is spinning at "exceeding speed"

Scientists recorded the shortest 28 days since 1960 in 2020. However, this constant monitoring showed that on June 29, the Earth's complete rotation took 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours - the shortest day ever recorded.

These values ​​triggered the alert that if the rotation rate continues to accelerate, we may have to remove a second from our atomic clocks. And that will change a lot.

If the Earth's rapid rotation continues, it could lead to the introduction of the first negative jump of the second.

This change will be necessary to keep civil time - which is based on the super-stable rhythm of atomic clocks - abreast of solar time, which is based on the movement of the Sun across the sky.

A negative second jump would mean that our clocks would jump a second, which could potentially create problems for computer systems.

Reported astrophysicist Graham Jones via TimeandDate.com.

The company's investigators Goal (company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) said that a leap of a second would have colossal effects on technology and would become a "big source of trouble" for hardware infrastructures.

The impact of a negative second jump has never been tested on a large scale; could have a devastating effect on software that relies on timers or programmers.

As we can read in an article on the subject, by researchers Oleg Obleukhov and Ahmad Byagowi, published on the company's blog.

Pole image of planet Earth

The poles are accelerating the planet

Scientists Leonid Zotov, Christian Bizouard and Nikolay Sidorenkov claim that the irregular rotations are the result of something called Chandler Wobblean irregular movement of the Earth's geographic poles across the surface of the globe.

According to Zotov, the normal amplitude of Chandler's oscillation is about 3 to 4 meters at the Earth's surface. However, from 2017 to 2020 this normal range disappeared.

Some experts believe that the melting and refreezing of ice caps on the world's highest mountains may be contributing to the erratic speed. Professor Zotov told Timeanddate that there is a "70% chance" that the planet has already reached the minimum duration of a day, which means that we will probably never have to use a negative second jump.

However, Zoltov admitted that there is still no way to be sure with current technology.

Worse than the Millennium Bug?

The second negative effect and its potential consequences echo back to Y2K theories, in which many believed that computers would not be able to handle the clocks marking the new millennium. While Y2K turned out to be nothing more than a mere hiccup in our heavily computerized civilization, another programming limitation was detected in 2014.

The vast majority of computer servers use the same system that stores the date and time in a 32-bit integer that counts the number of seconds since January 1, 1970 - often referred to as the Epoch time.

On March 19, 2038, precisely at 03:14:07 (Coordinated Universal Time), the clocks will reach the highest number represented by a 32-bit integer. As things stand, it is very likely that many computers will not be able to distinguish between the year 2038 and 1970.

However, by the year 2038, many 32-bit systems will likely have run out or been replaced. Therefore, the biggest problem is the infrastructure that will have to be repaired.

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