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Earth Is Spinning Faster Than It Ever Has.



By: Weston Ma


Scientists have discovered that Earth is spinning faster than usual. Research from the UK National Physical Lab shows that the Earth is spinning faster than it was 50 years ago. On June 29th, the Earth spun 1.59 milliseconds under the regular 24 hours, which was the fastest day ever. “If Earth’s fast rotation continues, it could lead to the introduction of the first-ever negative leap second*,” said Graham Jones on timeanddate.com.

“This (measure) would be required to keep civil time – which is based on the super-steady beat of atomic clocks – in step with solar time, which is based on the movement of the sun across the sky,” said Mr. Jones. “A negative leap second would mean that our clocks skip one second, which could potentially create problems for IT systems.” This is similar to the Y2k problem; scientists believe there would be another problem in time technology in the year 2038 because of a potential negative leap second.

“The impact of a negative leap second has never been tested on a large scale; it could have a devastating effect on the software relying on timers or schedulers,” wrote production engineer Oleg Obleukhov and research scientist Dr. Ahmad Byagowi. “In any case, every leap second is a major source of pain for people who manage hardware infrastructures*.”

Some scientists like Professor Zotov believe the Earth's abnormal speeds are due to the melting and refreezing of ice caps at the peak of tall mountains; this theory is called the Chandler Wobble. Professor Zotov told timeanddate.com that there was a 70% chance that the Earth had already reached its maximum rotation speed, meaning that we would probably not use a negative leap second.

Scientists should have enough time to fix problems with technology before the year 2038.

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