Scientists Find Mysterious Changes in Earth's Spin
Something at Earth's core responsible for changes every 6 years
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2013 12:24 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – How fast our planet turns—and, in turn, how long our day is—is not a stagnant thing. In fact, it changes every 5.9 years, according to a new study published in Nature. The Earth spins slightly faster or slower on a regular cycle, adding or subtracting milliseconds to our 24-hour day; LiveScience uses the analogy of a figure skater opening or closing her arms to explain the phenomenon. While it might seem like a miniscule change—especially when earthquakes can basically do the same thing—scientists are stumped as to the cause.

The study looked at decades' worth of data to find the changes occurring in regular intervals, which rules out the sun's energy flux as the source. While the true cause is still a mystery, it must come from inside the Earth's core, reports Science News. Researchers also found a correlation between the changes and abrupt alterations in our planet's magnetic field known as "geomagnetic jerks," which could help explain that mysterious behavior, too. For now, the findings will help improve the geomagnetic forecasts for mining and drilling.

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Showing 3 of 49 comments
Tengo
Jul 19, 2013 12:32 AM CDT
Everything is cyclic....look around you even at the subatomic or nutrinol level...
HMD-SMD-ITY
Jul 15, 2013 9:56 PM CDT
We know that Earth has well defined cycles such as the bi-yearly tilt, cooling/heating in 125,000 year cycles, and even a documented reversal of the magnetic poles. We are overdue for a shift in the magnetic pole right now. This is from archeological excavations of dinosaur fossils that establish a good date range for a soil level where it is found and then dissecting the layers and putting them through various analysis. Looking at the magnetic charge of the soil through time it is apparent that the poles reverse. The last full reversal as 780,000 years ago and the most recent partial one was 41,000 years ago, the end of the last glacial period that began the global warming cycle we are on now. There are several reasons to believe that the next reversal could happen in this century. First is that we are nearing the top of the current warming period. A sign of magnetic reversal is melting of the poles. That happened 125,000 years ago. Then there was 40,000 years of cooing, 40,000 years of gradual warming, then 40,000 years of warming to the point where we are now. My guess is that the next change will actually trigger world calamity.
rickydarlin
Jul 15, 2013 2:09 PM CDT
I thought I was the only one..... I've been looseing a millasecond every month for 70 years