Alex Mac

Alex Mac

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Scientists Say Earth Is Spinning Faster Than It Has in Decades

Scientists Say Earth Is Spinning Faster Than It Has in Decades

According to LiveScience, the Earth recorded its 28 fastest days since 1960 in 2020. It spun milliseconds faster than normal. The Earth's core along with weather and ocean patterns can cause the planet's rotation to speed up. In the 1950s, an atomic clock was developed by scientists to keep precise track of time. Since Earth's speeds are often inconsistent, an extra leap second is typically added at least once every 10 years to keep Earth time and the atomic clock as close as possible.

'In everyday life, this extra second has practically no importance,' Wolfgang Dick, a spokesman for the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, to 'USA Today'. 'However, in every field where exact time is needed (astronomy, navigation, spaceflight, but also computer networks for stock markets or energy supply, and much more) this second is of great importance.'

'For the first time, scientists are talking about needing to subtract a leap second from the atomic clock. It's quite possible that a negative leap second will be needed if the Earth's rotation rate increases further, but it's too early to say if this is likely to happen,' Physicist Peter Whibberley of the National Physics Laboratory in the U.K., to 'The Telegraph'. 'There are also international discussions taking place about the future of leap seconds, and it's also possible that the need for a negative leap second might push the decision towards ending leap seconds for good.'


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