The Earth spins faster, once again records the shortest day; Know how it will affect us

Earth’s shortest day: The Earth takes exactly 24 hours to rotate on its axis. Classic textbook knowledge, right? Well, not anymore. Reality is constantly changing and so are the facts. On July 29, the Earth recorded the shortest day, thus establishing the fact that it rotates faster than its usual speed. The planet completed a full rotation in 1.59 milliseconds less than its standard 24-hour rotation. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Earth has picked up its pace. According to a few media outlets, Earth recorded its shortest month of the year 2020 and July 19 was recorded as the shortest day of this year.

Is July 29, 2022 the shortest day in history?

The answer is no. According to various media, it has been a few years since the Earth started moving faster than before. These reports suggest that July 19, 2020 is the shortest day in history so far as it took Earth 1.47 milliseconds less than usual to complete one revolution.

Why does the Earth spin faster?

Scientists have yet to come to a particular conclusion as to why the Earth is rotating faster than its normal speed. However, there are many possible explanations for the same. A study published in the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters suggests that global warming has led to significant melting of glaciers due to which our planet’s axis of rotation has been moving faster since the 1990s.

The study further suggests that climate change has also caused the north pole to shift eastward since the 1990s. This occurs due to changes in the hydrosphere (the hydrosphere is the total amount of water on Earth). According to the study, satellite data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission calculated that the average rate of drift was 17 times faster than from 1981 to 1995. Additionally, over the past four decades , the poles moved about 4 meters apart.

Consequences: how does it affect us?

According to a report by the Independent, if the Earth continues to spin at a faster rate, it could lead to the introduction of negative leap seconds. The purpose of introducing these negative leap seconds would be to keep the speed at which the Earth revolves around the Sun consistent with the measurements of atomic clocks. This could potentially create an injurious effect for computer systems and software and GPS satellites that depend on the clock.

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