Why is the Earth spinning faster?

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 8:58 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Did you know scientists say the Earth is moving at a faster rate?

The news of Earth’s faster rotation has led to misleading posts on social media about the significance of the measurement. Some are also concerned about the possible implications.

On June 29, Earth recorded it’s shortest day since the adoption of the atomic clock standard in 1970. The record was at 1.59 milli-seconds less than 24 hours.

However, scientists say there’s no need to worry about the record-setting measurement. That’s because the amount of time in a day is only an average.

For the last several years, officials say there has been a trend that the Earth is slowing. Now, that trend is speeding up.

Planetarium Manager at Sci-Port Discovery Center, Greg Andrews, says the Earth’s rotational speed fluctuates constantly for multiple reasons: the moon and Earth’s gravitational pull on each other, the moon’s affect on the tides on Earth, and changes in the weather and climate on Earth.

Andrews says the slight increase in the planet’s rotational speed does not mean there will be a major impact on the duration of a day.

“It’s a change that was roughly speaking microseconds. It’s going to take a lot of milli-seconds to make it to one second and when you think about it, there are what 86,400 seconds in a day, something like that. That would have to be something that takes place over not just a couple of years, not just even a couple of decades. We’re talking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years” he said.

Andrews says leap seconds help to set off phenomena like this when it comes to keeping time, and the Earth’s flux in rotation.

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