The Earth is spinning slower and slower.  A day lasts 60 hours?

Researchers at the University of Toronto I just mentioned that relatively recently, if we lived at an early stage in the history of our planet, we would have less time for our activities during the day. The rate of rotation of our planet on its axis was significantly higher and was gradually slowed down by the action of the Moon. Fortunately, in addition to the Moon, we also have the Sun at our disposal, which has tried with all its might to accelerate the rate of rotation of our planet. For more than a billion years, from 2 billion years ago to about 600 million years ago, due to the struggle between these two forces (of the Sun and Moon), the length of the day on Earth has remained constant at about 19.5 hours.

Also read: Can the Earth change its axis of rotation? This happened 84 million years ago

Interestingly, although two billion years ago we had four hours less per day, if it were not for the influence of the Sun, today our planet would rotate much more slowly and the day would indeed last more than sixty hours. It was the sun that stopped the process of slowing down the Earth’s rotation for a billion years. At least this is what geological evidence reveals to scientists in a surprising relationship between temperatures in the Earth’s atmosphere and the rotation of the planet.

Four and a half billion years ago, immediately after the moon was formed in a strong collision between Earth and tea, a hypothetical planet similar in size to Mars, a day on the surface of our planet lasted only ten hours. The gravitational pull of the Moon gradually slowed the Earth’s rotation, thus lengthening the day. This process continues today, and the day is now lengthening at a rate of 1.7 milliseconds per century. The slowdown is associated with the formation of bulges in the oceans and seas (responsible for tides) on the side of the Moon and vice versa. The deformation of water masses and the interactions between these masses and the ocean floor is gradually slowing the planet’s rotation. The sun has the same effect on the Earth’s atmosphere. However, in this case, the gravitational deformation of the atmosphere gradually accelerates our planet.

When the sun lines up with the moon

As a rule, the deceleration of the Earth’s rotation by the Moon is ten times stronger than its acceleration by the Sun, and therefore, in the end, lengthening the day, not shortening it. Two billion years ago, when the day was extended to 20 hours, the bulges caused by the sun became larger than they are today. This was due to the fact that the atmosphere was warmer and thicker, and the natural resonance of the atmosphere matched the length of the day (10 and 20 hours, respectively), so they reinforced each other. The effect was that for more than a billion years, the process of slowing down the Earth’s rotation by the Moon was effectively stopped by the Sun.

As part of their research, the scientists used Global Atmospheric Circulation Models (GCM), which are currently used to study climate change, to estimate temperatures at the Earth’s surface. The researchers suggest that global warming, which we are currently dealing with, may again speed up the length of the day. Do not worry, at the level of human life, nothing will change dramatically. We are doomed to live on a planet that rotates at a rate of 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds.

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