The Earth is Suddenly Spinning Faster – Why? And Should You Panic?
Does life feel like it's spinning faster these days – leaving your thought struggling to keep up? Turns out, it's
Does life feel like it's spinning faster these days – leaving your thought struggling to keep up?
Turns out, it's not just your perception and overpacked schedule making you feel that way, the world is actually spinning faster these days, all of a sudden. But why? And is it something we should worry about?
Why is the Earth Spinning Faster?
The world has been logging some serious firsts and records in recent years. But one that may surprise you: the shortest day on record.
We already know that daylight hours wane after the summer solstice, but did you know that the entire day is shorter than it's ever been before?
Best Life explains, "June 29, 2022 was 1.59 milliseconds shorter than the average day, scientist Leonid Zotov told CBS News. The normal length of a day is 24 hours, or 86,400 seconds. But in the past few years, the Earth's rotation has picked up, trimming milliseconds off some days. 'Since 2016 the Earth started to accelerate,' said Zotov, who published a study last March on what might be causing the changes in Earth's rotation. 'This year it rotates quicker than in 2021 and 2020.'"
While it doesn't sound like a lot of time, it adds up. And over time, milliseconds become seconds – seconds become minutes – and then suddenly the Earth and its timekeeping clocks are out of sync significantly.
The solution may be a controversial addition to the atomic clock's timekeeping known as a leap second. Some experts oppose the addition because of the havoc it could wreak technology that relies on accurate timekeeping and syncing with other technology.
But the greater question is – should you worry?
Is a Faster Earth a Cause for Concern?
Luckily, it isn't having any major effects on life on earth at this time and it isn't expected to.
The reasoning behind the speed up has experts arguing over multiple possibilities, including that the ice caps freezing and melting and refreezing are affecting the earth's momentum the same way a figure skater changes their speed by extending or pulling in their arms.
But unless you're in charge of syncing technology or managing the world's atomic clocks, it probably won't affect you much.
Unfortunately, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to worry about in regards to the state of the planet already – such as climate change disaster, rising world tensions and the possibility of a worker shortage as population growth slows.
But at least as we zip around the solar system on our air-and-water-covered rock, we can feel confident that the speed at which it's spinning is still compatible with our lives.
So that's at least one doomsday you can check off the worry list for now.