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Scientists Say Earth is Spinning Faster Than it Has in Decades

USA TODAY - As noted on LiveScience, the Earth's 28 fastest days on record (since 1960) all occurred in 2020, with Earth completing its revolutions around its axis milliseconds quicker than average.

Usually, the Earth is an excellent timekeeper, according to TimeandDate.com. On average, with respect to the sun, it rotates once every 86,400 seconds, which equals 24 hours. This is known as a mean solar day.

"But it is not perfect," write Graham Jones and Konstantin Bikos on TimeandDate.com. "When highly accurate atomic clocks were developed in the 1960s, they showed that the length of a mean solar day can vary by milliseconds (1 millisecond equals 0.001 seconds)."

The Earth's rotation can change slightly because of the movement of its core and also, surprisingly, because of weather and ocean patterns.

"Changes in the atmosphere, specifically atmospheric pressure around the world, and the motions of the winds that may be related to such climate signals as El Niño are strong enough that their effect is observed in the Earth’s rotation signal," David A. Salstein, an atmospheric scientist from Atmospheric and Environmental....READ MORE

USA Today is an internationally distributed American daily middle-market newspaper that is the flagship publication of its owner, Gannett. Founded by Al Neuharth on September 15, 1982, it operates from Gannett's corporate headquarters in Tysons, Virginia.



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