We have all studied the composition of Earth in our school, and we know that it is a more complex subject than we can think of. Earth’s composition is undergoing everyday change. The inner part of the planet can be divided into the following parts – crust, mantle and core. There have been several theories which suggest that the core is rotating independently of our spinning Earth. However, the latest groundbreaking research by scientists has confirmed that the Earth’s core has experienced a significant slowdown and is now rotating in reverse. This phenomenon, which has captured the attention of the global scientific community, has far-reaching implications for our understanding of the planet's dynamics. Previously thought to be relatively stable, the core's behaviour is now revealing new complexities that could reshape our knowledge of Earth's interior and geological processes. Are Aliens Real? 5 Viral Videos of UFO Sightings That Sparked Conspiracy Theories on Extraterrestrial Life. 

Earth’s Core Slowing Down and Rotating in Reverse

The Earth’s core, which is buried around 5,180 kilometres deep inside, primarily comprises iron and nickel. It is divided into a solid inner core and a liquid outer core. The rotation of the inner core is influenced by the magnetic field generated by the liquid outer core and the gravitational forces exerted by the mantle. Historically, it has been understood that the inner core rotates slightly faster than the Earth's surface, a phenomenon known as super-rotation. Air Turbulence in Flight FAQs: What Causes Turbulence? Is Climate Change the Reason Behind Turbulence? Here’s All You Need To Know About It.

Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann discovered the planet's inner core in 1936. Since then, there has been a lot of debates around the Earth’s rotation speed and direction. However, owing to the difficulty in observing and collecting direct samples of Earth’s deep interior has limited their research process. Most research and studies are based on variations between waves of similar strengths passed through the core at different times.

According to the data from seismograms, repeated earthquakes and explosions on Earth indicate the degradation of Earth’s inner core rotation speed compared to the Earth’s surface over the past few years. This finding has been published in the Journal Nature in June, 2024.

The research validates the Earth’s slowdown and scientists' claim in 2023 that the core’s deceleration is part of a decade-long pattern of slowing down and speeding up. The model proposed in 2023 also described the pattern of rotation speed and direction of the Earth's core. It stated that the inner core of the Earth has spun faster than the Earth’s crust in the past; however, now it is spinning at a slower rate. For some time, the core and the Earth’s rotation speed matched. Later, the rotation speed of the Earth’s core reduced even more until it started reversing in the reverse direction.

Implications of the Core’s Slowdown and Reversal: What Could It Mean?

  • Geological and Seismic Impact: One of the primary concerns regarding the core's altered rotation is its impact on geological and seismic activity. The inner core's movement plays a crucial role in generating the Earth's magnetic field, affecting tectonic plate movements and seismic activity. A change in the core's rotation could potentially influence the frequency and intensity of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
  • Magnetic Field Alterations: The Earth's magnetic field, essential for protecting the planet from harmful solar radiation, is generated by the movement of molten iron in the outer core. Changes in the inner core's rotation could alter the magnetic field's strength and configuration. This could have significant implications for both natural phenomena and human technology, which relies heavily on the stability of the magnetic field for navigation and communication systems.

The Earth's core slowdown and its reverse rotation marks a significant milestone in our understanding of planetary dynamics. Once thought to be stable, this phenomenon now reveals intricate complexities that challenge long-standing theories.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 08, 2024 01:55 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).