Earth’s days are getting ‘strangely longer’ and scientists are confused
Atomic clocks and precise astronomical observations have demonstrated that the days are suddenly getting longer and it has left many scientists confused, according to a report by SciTechDaily.
This change has a significant influence on our ability to keep accurate time as well as other precision technologies like GPS that are needed in our daily lives.
(Photo: Arek Socha/Pixabay)
In recent decades, the rate of rotation of the Earth around its axis has increased. Our days get shorter because of this pattern, which influences the length of a day.
If you remember, we already broke the record for the shortest day in the last 50 years, in June 2022.
Despite this record, the gradual acceleration that began in 2020 has strangely turned into a slowdown. Earth days have become longer again and the cause is still unknown.
Due to tidal friction caused by the Moon, the Earth’s rotation slowed for millions of years. This process lengthens each day by about 2.3 milliseconds per 100 years.
The relationship between the interior and the surface of the Earth is also important. Indeed, the length of the day can be modified by powerful earthquakes, but generally not very much.
For example, the Great Thoku earthquake of magnitude 8.9 in Japan in 2011 would have accelerated the rotation of the Earth by only 1.8 microseconds.
The “Chandler Oscillation”, a small shift in Earth’s spin axis with a period of about 430 days, is another theory believed by scientists to be responsible for the recent puzzling change in Earth’s spin rate. planet.
According to the SciTech Daily report, radio telescope observations indicate that the oscillation has recently diminished. Therefore, there could be a connection between the two, but for now, it remains a theory.
Read also : The Earth spins faster. Lately, atomic clocks are finding: what does this mean?
How does this affect technology?
Ever since scientists at the National Physical Laboratory in England recorded the shortest day they have ever lived, there have been concerns about how the change in Earth’s rotation would affect the environment.
However, tech companies are also worried because leap seconds can affect their online platforms.
Recently, Meta decided to join other tech companies in calling for the elimination of leap seconds. Leap seconds have already been used 27 times in recent years. According to Meta, that is enough.
Many internet platforms have already been impacted by the latest leap seconds rule. Many websites were offline in 2012 due to the sudden change of time around the world.
These include Australian airline Qantas, Reddit and Gawker. However, Cloudfare also encountered issues with the 2017 leap second.
As a result, many internet platforms have created technology that allows them to instantly change their time in the event of unexpected leap seconds.
However, these methods only work for positive leap seconds (longer time changes).
“The impact of a negative leap second has never been tested on a large scale; it could have a devastating effect on software relying on timers or schedulers,” Meta wrote in a blog post.
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This article belongs to Tech Times
Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla
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