What does it mean that the Earth’s core is slowing down | Ecology | The Magazine

What does it mean that the Earth’s core is slowing down | Ecology | The Magazine
What does it mean that the Earth’s core is slowing down | Ecology | The Magazine

It’s official now. The Earth’s core is slowing down and receding faster than the earth’s surfaceconfirmed a study published in the journal Nature by a team of researchers at the University of Southern California.

This confirms an idea that scientists have been considering for years: the inner core of the planet has slowed down.

They found this out by using seismic waves from earthquakes to study their movement, since the core is impossible to access from the surface, because It is surrounded by an outer core of liquid metalmore than 5,000 kilometers below the bottom of the planet.

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But, using the data from 121 earthquakes occurred between 1991 and 2023 in the South Sandwich Islandsthe team was able to track the movements of the nucleus and establish a pattern of movement.

So, What does it mean that the core has slowed down?

According to the study, the Earth’s inner core began to slow down between 2008 and 2010for the first time in 40 years. This reveals a complex interaction between the inner core, the liquid outer core and the mantle.

As explained National Geographicthe slowdown is due to the agitation of the liquid outer core surrounding the coreand which in turn generates the Earth’s magnetic field and the gravitational forces from the dense regions of the overlying rock mantle.

Layers of the Earth. Photo: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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John Vidalethe lead research scientist and dean of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California, said that this effect on the Earth’s surface could impact microseconds in the rotation of the planet.

Although this change is imperceptible to humans, it is crucial to understanding terrestrial and oceanic phenomena.

“In terms of that effect on a person’s life I can’t imagine it means much“Vidale explained. But this discovery opens up a whole new branch of study for geologists.

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According to Vidale, the mysterious region where the liquid outer core envelops the solid inner core is especially interesting, and the next step is understand how the nucleus was formed and how it connects to all the layers of the planet.

“We could have volcanoes at the boundary of the inner core, for example, where solid and fluid meet and move,” the dean said.

Scientists believe the core’s rotation is about to accelerate again, but that is a hypothesis that will have to be confirmed in a future study. (I)

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