Home / Science / News /  Earth is rotating faster, and the effect could be 'devastating'
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The Earth is rotating faster than its usual speed. Recently, scientists recorded Earth's full spin was 1.50 milliseconds shorter than 24 hours. On July 26, Earth broke its June record when the planet had completed a full spin in a time that was 1.50 milliseconds.

While Earth takes exactly 24 hours to rotate once on its axis, but not anymore.

Earth's 'Leap second'

Until a few years ago scientists thought that Earth's rotation was slowing down. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) had even begun adding leap seconds to make up for the slower spin. This was done until December 31, 2016.

However, in the last few years, the atomic clocks have shown that Earth's rotation is speeding up. In 2020, scientists recorded the 28 shortest days since 1960. And, this year, o June 29, 2022, Earth completed its quickest-ever spin, followed quickly by a day that lasted 1.50 milliseconds less on July 26, 2022.

The previous record for the shortest rotation was July 19, 2020, when the Earth's rotation took 1.4602 milliseconds less than 24 hours.

Why Earth is spinning faster?

This is still a mystery but some theories suggest that it could be because of the

1. melting of the glaciers means less weigh on the poles

2. Motions of our planet's inner molten core

3. Seismic activity

4. 'Chandler wobble,' which is a small deviation in the Earth's axis of rotation.

The faster rotation of Earth has consequences because it could lead to the introduction of the negative leap second in order to keep the rate that the Earth orbits the Sun consistent with measurements from atomic clocks.

The negative leap second will also affect IT systems. This is because a clock usually runs from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 before resetting to 00:00:00.

If a leap second occurs, the clock will change from 23:59:58 to 00:00:00, which Meta predicts could have a “devastating effect on the software relying on timers or schedulers."

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