The length of the day on our planet is mysteriously lengthening On June 29, 2022, a new record was set for the shortest day ever. However, the researchers observed that since 2020 this constant acceleration has mysteriously shifted to a slowdown, with the days being mysteriously lengthening.
With the slowing of the Earth's rotation and the consequent lengthening of days, in the future we may need to introduce a negative leap second, or to subtract a second from the world's atomic clocks to reduce the gap with the time of our planet.
This fix would represent a first. An additional problem to be solved in the future, and which could even lead to letting the gap between atomic and astronomical time extend beyond the possible necessary introduction of the negative leap second.
Matt King, director of the ARC Australian Center for Excellence in Antarctic Science at the University of Tasmania and Christopher Watson, senior lecturer of the School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences at the same university, explained: "Once the last era is over ice, the melting of the polar caps reduced the surface pressure and the Earth's mantle began to move steadily towards the poles.
Just as a dancer spins faster when she brings her arms close to her body, the axis around which Our planet's rotation speed increases as this mantle mass approaches the Earth's axis. And this process reduces every day by about 0.6 milliseconds every century."
The length of the day on our planet is mysteriously lengthening
They added then: "It could be due to changes in weather systems, with consecutive La Niña events, although these have occurred earlier, or an increase in ice sheet melting, albeit in recent years i these have not diverged greatly from their steady rate of dissolution.
A final possibility, which we believe to be plausible, is that nothing specific has changed in or around the Earth. It could just be long-term tidal effects that work in parallel with other periodic processes to produce a temporary change in the rate of rotation of the Earth." Taking into account all these elements that affect the speed of the Earth's rotation, the long-term trend relating to the duration of days on Earth shows a constant lengthening from 2020, or a change that is unprecedented in the last 50 years.