Scientists Confirm Earth’s Inner Core Rotating Slower Than Surface

Groundbreaking Discovery

Scientists from the University of Southern California (USC) have revealed a groundbreaking discovery about the Earth’s inner core.

Impact on Planetary Mechanics

This discovery raises crucial questions about planetary mechanics and could significantly affect Earth’s magnetic field and the duration of our days.

Study Insights

Evidence of Slowdown

Published in Nature, the study presents compelling evidence that the Earth’s inner core has been slowing down since around 2010.

Comparison with Earth’s Mantle

This marks the first time in approximately 40 years that the inner core is moving slower than the Earth’s mantle.

The Inner Core’s Composition

Super-Hot, Super-Dense Sphere

The inner core is a super-hot, super-dense sphere primarily composed of iron and nickel, located over 4,800km beneath our feet.

Research Methodology

Data Analysis

Led by John Vidale and his team, the study analyzed readings from 121 repeating earthquakes recorded between 1991 and 2023 around the South Sandwich Islands.

Utilization of Previous Data

They also incorporated data from Soviet, French, and American nuclear tests conducted between 1971 and 1974, along with other studies on the inner core.

Scientific Insights

John Vidale’s Perspective

Mr. Vidale, Dean’s Professor of Earth Sciences at USC, expressed astonishment at the findings, emphasizing the significance of the observations.

Cause of Slowdown

He attributed the inner core’s slowing rotation to the turbulent movement of the liquid outer core, which generates Earth’s magnetic field, and gravitational pulls from dense regions in the overlying rocky mantle.

Potential Implications

Impact on Earth’s Rotation

The slowdown could eventually impact the entire planet’s rotation, potentially prolonging our days.

Minute Changes

Mr. Vidale noted that the alterations in the length of a day might be minuscule, on the order of a thousandth of a second, imperceptible amidst the noise of natural phenomena.

Future Directions

Further Research

The team aims to delve deeper into the inner core’s trajectory to uncover the precise reasons behind its shifting dynamics.

Unveiling the Mystery

Mr. Vidale expressed enthusiasm about exploring the inner core’s movements in greater detail, suggesting that there might be more to discover.

The discovery of the Earth’s inner core rotating slower than the surface unveils a fascinating aspect of planetary dynamics. With further research, scientists hope to unravel the mysteries surrounding this phenomenon and its implications for Earth’s geological processes.