Earth’s spin is believed to be speeding up

Katie Ramirez
January 11, 2021

They confirm that July 19, 2020 is the shortest day ever recorded, with the planet changing in less than an average day at 1.4602 milliseconds, due to various factors: the moon, snow levels, mountain erosion ...

However, now the planet is speeding up and a negative leap second may soon be needed so atomic clocks can align correctly with the turning world. By doing that, the atomic time and the astronomical time get back in time.

Now, with the Earth's rotation getting slower, the timekeepers are ponder about adding a "negative leap second" for the first time since the invention of atomic clocks. This means that our clocks would lose one second in order to keep up with the increase in the planet's rotation. Researchers around the globe are also considering deleting a second in a bid to keep the passage of time in sync with the Earth's rotation.

This data are obtained by measuring the Earth's rotation with respect to distant astronomical objects.

Now some experts are suggesting to ass "negative leap second", a phenomenon that has never even been discussed as a possibility before.

While that's not a lot of time at all, scientists are watching the situation closely and might call for a "negative leap second", where official timeclocks would be reset by removing a full second.

Daily Mail reported that since 2020, every day is taking less than 24 hours.

Last made in 2016, at 23 hours and 59 seconds on New Year's Day, an extra "leap second" was added.

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According to the world's timekeepers, 19th July was about 1.4602 milliseconds shorter than the 24 hours.

The 28 fastest days on record (since 1960) all occurred in 2020, with Earth completing its revolutions around its axis milliseconds quicker than average.

The debate about leap seconds comes because much of modern technology is now set up around what they call "true time" (which still works on the assumption that every minute always lasts 60 seconds). The way Earth keeps track of time is through solar clocks (traditional time-keeping) and atomic clocks (using atoms of the electromagnetic spectrum as frequency standard).

The speed of the planet's rotations depends on the frequently complex motion of the innermost molten core along with its oceans, atmosphere, natural satellites, and other celestial bodies. Though, that slightly changed previous year. Since the development of the atomic clock in the 1960s, "leap seconds" have been added 27 times to compensate slowing down rotation, According to EarthSky.org.

"But in the middle of 2020, the Earth beat that record no less than 28 times".

So far, the modifications added only a "leap second" to the year at the end of June or December.

Some countries want to move to atomic time completely, and abolish leap second corrections, but the United Kingdom is opposed to the move because it would sever the link with solar time forever.

Scientists are also studying whether global warming could be impacting the earth's spin, with the disappearance of high-altitude snow and snow-caps. Published in Science Advances the paper stated that the glaciers melting because of climate change could be causing Earth to spin faster on its axis.

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