It’s Just the Earth’s Inner Core Slowing Down…Nothin’ to See Here

Billion Photos /
Billion Photos /

If slimy politicians and a sinking economy aren’t enough bad news for you, here’s a story about the earth’s inner core slowing down.

A new study was published on Monday that says in 2009, the inner core of the earth slowed its rotation to move in sync with the rest of the planet. And now, according to the study, it is starting to lag behind the rest of the planet.

That just doesn’t sound good.

The earth’s core is a superheated ball of iron and it was first discovered in the mid-1990s that it traveled faster than the rest of the planet. But now, a new study published in Nature Geoscience found that not only has the Earth’s core recently slowed its pace, but it is also starting to go slower than the rest of the planet’s natural spin.

So what does this mean? The earth’s inner core has the power to influence the length of the average day and it can change the magnetic field around the earth.

The core is solid, but it floats in a liquid outer core. Most experts believe that it is the inner core that protects us from the most damaging forms of cosmic radiation from the sun.
These new findings are creating a debate about how the core influences some of the most fundamental aspects of our planet.

Most say that the study probably does not spell doom for the human race. In fact, it is possible that the same kind of lagging took place in the late 1960s. The study has revealed a brand new cycle that was previously unknown to the science world.

“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.”

I still don’t feel great about this.