What all affects the length of the day, and will we be left without mobile phones?
As we learned in school, one day lasts 1,440 minutes or 24 hours – during which time the Earth revolves around its axis. However, scientists have determined that there is one worrying trend that is fundamentally changing this situation.
Normally, the day slows down gradually, so the length of the day increases by an average of approximately 1.8 milliseconds every 100 years.
For example, six hundred million years ago, the day lasted only 21 hours.
Changes in the length of the day occur due to several influences, among which are the gravity of the Sun and the moon, the merging of the core with the Earth’s mantle, as well as the overall mass distribution of our planet.
Earthquakes, glaciers, climate change, ocean currents and magnetospheres also have an effect on the length of the day.
A possible problem arose when scientists made a worrying discovery in 2020.
It was determined that, instead of slowing down, the Earth began to turn faster. It is currently spinning at the highest speed in the last 50 years. The claim is that all the shortest days (and there are 28 of them) were recorded in 2020.
Scientists do not have complete knowledge about what accelerates the Earth’s rotation, although some of them theorize that it could be due to melting glaciers during the 20th century, or due to the consequences of accelerated accumulation of water in reservoirs in the northern hemisphere.
Experts also predict that this “speeding” is only temporary and that the Earth will slow down again in the future.
While the new discoveries are unlikely to have an impact on our normal lives, experts fear that the current situation could still have catastrophic consequences for technology such as satellites, smartphones, computers and communications networks, all of which rely on very accurate timing systems.
The fact that such problems could eventually be overcome by subtracting a certain period of time, instead of adding it, leaves us hope for a better future.