Earth’s inner core has stopped spinning
Earth’s inner core has recently stopped rotating, and it may be spinning in a reverse direction. Researchers from China concluded this unusual movement after probing an earthquake’s seismic waves as they pass through Earth.
On Monday, the team of researchers published the study in the journal Nature Geoscience. Although the rotation change wouldn’t affect Earth that much, it can reduce the length of the day by a part of a millisecond in one year.
According to the researchers, the change might affect the Earth’s magnetic field a bit, but it wouldn’t alter life on Earth. The composition of the Earth’s inner core is nickel and iron. The liquid outer core separates these minerals from the solid Earth. Thus, enabling the Earth to spin uniquely than the other planets.
A recent study of Earth’s inner core has concluded that it recently stopped spinning, and may be beginning to change the direction of its rotation. pic.twitter.com/RsEhtB05wiFEATURED STORIES
— IGN (@IGN) January 24, 2023
The new study results are mind-altering as they suggest that the Earth’s inner core stopped. It also changed direction on a cycle that lasted about 60-70 years. This new discovery might solve some lifelong mysteries of geological occurrences and climate.
The co-author of the study and seismologist at Peking University in Beijing said, “In theory, it has been going on for a long time, but we only have observations over a few decades.”
Dr. Song also emphasized that the magnetic field from the liquid outer core caused the Earth’s inner core rotation. Learning the workarounds of the inner core movements can help scientists understand how the Earth’s layers affect each other.
Earth’s inner core may have reversed its rotation, potentially shortening the length of the day by a fraction of a millisecond over the course of a year https://t.co/1G0Iqi9qJM
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 24, 2023ADVERTISEMENT
Moreover, Dr.Song and co-author Yi Yang studied the seismic waves from the same earthquakes that crossed the Earth. They also analyzed similar patterns from the 1960s. The study’s results also showed that between 2009 and 2020, the rotation paused and might have reversed its direction.
Other Results of Studies
Song had tried to unravel the mysteries of the inner core for decades. He studies the seismic waves that went by this distant region. Moreover, he was part of the first team that reported evidence of the Earth’s inner core rotation. The team discovered it by measuring time differences in earthquake-generated waves.
Dr. Yang said, “We have those repeating earthquakes that happen at the same location. is like we are doing a CT scan for the Earth.” A professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California, John Vidale, who wasn’t part of the study, shared his insights.
According to The Wall Street Journal Report, Vidale said that there could be other data analysis of the seismic waves. He added, “The changes they noticed are valid, although what’s actually happening isn’t so clear. They have a very good analysis, and the theory they put in the papers is probably as good as anything at the moment, but there are several competing ideas as well.”
Vidale added that some scientists believe that the Earth’s inner core changes its spinning at a shorter pace compared to the 70-year period shown by the new study. In addition, some other theories show that the inner core’s rotation also stopped between 2001 and 2003. But Vidale said that it might not have reversed but just altered how it spins.