What Will Happen if the Earth’s Core Stops Spinning?

What happens if a common person doesn’t meet day and night? At first, the same routine day after day isn’t that bothersome, but once clouds of monotony begin to cast their shadow, we start seeking change. And thousands of kilometers beneath our feet, Earth’s inner core agrees with this human tendency! Scientist’s research is proving to them that the inner core of our planet has slowed down because it’s tired of circling in the same direction for decades. And now, it’s time for a change.

The study by scientists from Beijing’s Peking University has revealed that sometime in the past decade, Earth’s inner core (which usually spins faster in relation to the mantle) stopped doing so! Instead, it appears to be reversing the direction of its spin. Imagine Earth’s inner core, the dense center of our planet as a heavy, metal ballerina. This iron-rich machine is capable of pirouetting at ever-changing speeds.
That core may be on the cusp of a big shift. Seismologists reported Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience that after brief but peculiar pauses, the inner core changes how it spins — relative to the motion of Earth’s surface — perhaps once every few decades. And, right now, one such reversal may be underway.

This may sound like a setup for a world-wrecking, scientific competition. But it’s not right. We are very concerned about weather conditions. If the earth core changes its directions it even leads to major changes in the shift of time and atmosphere. Precisely nothing apocalyptic will result from this planetary spin cycle, which may have been happening for eons. The researchers who propose this speculative model instead aim to advance understanding of Earth’s innermost sanctum and its relationship with the rest of the world.

The inner core is like “a planet within a planet, so how it moves is obviously very important,” said Xiaodong Song, a seismologist at Peking University in Beijing. The stunning results suggest that Earth’s center pauses and reverses direction on a periodic cycle lasting about 60 to 70 years, a discovery that might solve long standing mysteries about climate and geological phenomena that occur on a similar timeframe, and that affect life on our planet.

Earth’s inner core is a solid metal ball that is 75 percent the size of the Moon. It can spin at different speeds and directions compared to our planet because it is nestled within a liquid outer core, but scientists are not sure exactly how fast it spins or whether its speed varies over time.

Located some 3,000 miles beneath our feet, the core experiences intense heat on par with the surface of the Sun. Because it is so difficult to study, the inner core remains one of the least understanding subject of matter in the planet, though it’s clear that it plays a role in many processes that make our world habitable to life, such as the generation of Earth’s protective magnetic field, which blocks harmful radiation from reaching the surface. Now, Yi Yang  and Xiaodong Song, a pair of researchers at Peking University’s SinoProbe Lab at School of Earth and Space Sciences, have captured “surprising observations that indicate the inner core has nearly ceased its rotation in the recent decade and may be experiencing a turning-back in a multidecadal oscillation.

“There are two major forces acting on the inner core, “One is the electromagnetic force. The Earth’s magnetic field is generated by fluid motion in the outer core. The magnetic field acting on the metallic inner core is expected to drive the inner core to rotate by electromagnetic coupling. The other is gravity force. The mantle and inner core are both highly heterogeneous, so the gravity between their structures tends to drag the inner core to the position of gravitational equilibrium, so called gravitational coupling.” “If the two forces are not well carried out, the inner core will accelerate or decelerate,” they added. “Both the magnetic field and the Earth’s rotation have a strong periodicity of 60-70 years. The Proposed 70-year oscillation of the inner core is driven by the electromagnetic and gravitational forces.

It has been decades trying to unravel the mysteries of the inner core by studying seismic waves that pass through this distant region. However, the origin of the temporal changes has been a matter of debate within the geoscience community ever since, as some scientists think the wave patterns arise from phenomena at the boundary between the outer and inner core. Arguments were always that the temporal changes do not come from the inner-core rotation, but from localized deformation at the inner core boundary.

To that end, the team studied seismic waves that passed through the inner core made by earthquakes that occurred since the 1960s. By analyzing the slight temporal changes between these doublets, Yang and Song were able to probe the rotation of the inner core. As it turned out, the temporal changes reached a minimum around 2009, suggesting that the inner core had paused rotation around this time, creating seismic observations that seem more static. It was an astonishing time when they found a similar turning point in early 70’s hinting that the core stops and reverses rotation on a periodic cycle.

According to the note, a multi decade cycle has been observed in earth’s climate system. As result of this research and issue it was proved that the length of Earth’s day, which shifts slightly over time, also seems synced to the proposed cycle. For this reason, the new findings “may imply dynamic interactions between the deepest and shallowest layers of the solid Earth system,” according to the new study.

It was found and routed the existence of similar periodicity of different observations about gravitational mixture and changes of sea level in earth’s rotation climatic changes. These triggering points were considered as resonance of different systems may also amplify the mutual interactions.” With working hard on these above impacts or issues, the next steps is “to build quantitative models of the physical mechanisms on the multi-decadal oscillation system” and “to monitor how the rotation changes in the future,” Yang and Song said.

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