On July 29, when the Earth completed a full rotation in 1.59 milliseconds less than its regular 24-hour rotation, a new record for the shortest day was set.
Recent reports indicate that the planet’s velocity has been increasing, according to the Independent.
In 2020, the Earth will experience its shortest month since the 1960s.
On July 19, that year, the shortest day ever recorded was recorded.
It was 1.47 microseconds shorter than a standard 24-hour day.
The following year, the planet continued to spin quickly, but no new records were set.
According to Interesting Engineering (IE), a 50-year period of shorter days could be commencing immediately.
The cause of Earth’s variable spin rate remains a mystery.
Scientists believe this is a result of ocean tides, ocean currents, or even climate fluctuations in the core or outer layers.
Others believe this is related to the “Chandler wobble,” or the movement of the Earth’s geographic poles across its surface.
According to physicists Leonid Zotov, Christian Bizouard, and Nikolay Sidorenkov, this phenomenon is analogous to the shaking that happens when a spinning top gains or loses speed.
According to the Independent, if the Earth continues to rotate at a faster rate, it may become necessary to use negative leap seconds in order to keep its rotational rate in sync with atomic clocks.
Smartphones, computers, and communication networks would all be unexpectedly impacted by the negative leap second.
According to a Meta blog mentioned by the journal, the jump second “primarily benefits scientists and astronomers,” but it is a “hazardous practise that does more harm than good,” according to the publication.
This is the case because the clock changes from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 before resetting to 00:00:00.
Due to the timestamps on the data storage, a time leap of this nature may cause software crashes and data corruption.
According to Meta, if a negative leap second occurs, the clock will also change from 23:59:58 to 00:00:00, which will have a “devastating effect” on software that rely on timers and schedules.