Earth’s Core Appears To Be Slowing, Possibly Reversing Rotation


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A new study published Monday suggests that in 2009, the Earth’s inner core slowed its rotation to move in sync with the rest of the planet. Now, it is starting to lag behind.

The first discovery that the Earth’s core, a superheated ball of iron, travelled faster than the rest of the planet was made in the mid-1990s, according to the Washington Post. A new study published in Nature Geoscience found that not only has the Earth’s core recently slowed its pace, but is starting to lag behind the rest of the planet’s natural spin.

This might sound like boring geology, but the Earth’s inner core has a significant potential influence over the length of the average day on Earth, as well as creating fluctuations in our magnetic field. The inner core is solid, but floats around in a liquid outer core. Geologists believe the energy created by our inner core protects us from the most damaging forms of cosmic radiation from our nearest star — the sun.

Thankfully, the new study does not spell doom for the human race. Similar slowing processes appear to have happened in the late 1960s and 1970s. The research has simply revealed a whole new cyclical process that was previously unknown to modern man.

“It’s only contentious because we can’t figure it out,” University of Southern California geophysicist John Vidale told the Washington Post. “It’s probably benign, but we don’t want to have things we don’t understand deep in the Earth.”

Researchers did note to Science News that some of the evidence suggests the core might not just be slowing down, but is going in the opposite direction. “We see strong evidence that the inner core has been rotating faster than the surface, [but] by around 2009 it nearly stopped,” study lead from Peking University in Beijing Xiaodong Song told the outlet. “Now it is gradually mov[ing] in the opposite direction.”

The discovery was made through seismic analysis dating back into the 1990s. Prior to 2009, seismic waves traveled at different rates through Earth’s inner core, but this pattern vanished suddenly 14 years ago. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE DETAILS: Joe Rogan Guest Jimmy Corsetti Shares Stunning New Evidence On Atlantis Theory)

Some researchers are skeptical of the evidence presented in the new study. Research published in 2022 argued that the inner core reverses direction every three-ish years. Only time and further research will determine what lies beneath our feet.