The slowdown that occurred over several decades overlaps with changes in the planet’s other behavior.
According to experts from Peking University, Earth’s inner core rotates relative to the planet’s mantle. This is due to convection currents in the liquid inner core and gravitational interactions with the mantle. This movement is slow and is estimated at about 0.5 degrees per year.
As the researchers explain, the existence of this spin was inferred from how seismic waves travel through the Earth’s interior.
By analyzing the trajectories of these waves that have been measured over the past decades, The Chinese team has found obvious changes over the past ten years. The data indicates that the inner core has stopped.
However, there is no cause for concern. Based on past data, the researchers say such a change occurs about every 70 years, with the last rotational reversal occurring in the 70s.
Changes are happening on Earth
“We have shown surprising results from observations that the inner core has almost recently stopped spinning and within oscillations measured in decades, it may even change its spin to the opposite direction,” write the authors of the paper, which appears in the journal Nature Geoscience. .
What’s more, they note, this oscillation is accompanied by other changes—particularly in the length of the day and the magnetic field.
These observations indicate, according to the Chinese group “Dynamic interactions between the deepest parts of the Earth and its surface”.
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