Earth’s rotation is accelerating. We’re losing daylight. Didn’t notice anything? Normal, we’re talking milliseconds here.
Every 24 hours, Earth revolves. This defines day length. Reality is more complicated. Because Earth isn’t static. It slows with time. Milliseconds pass. The Earth has been rotating faster and faster in recent years.
Atomic clocks reported June 29, 2022 as the shortest day ever. It went overlooked since the day was 1.59 milliseconds shorter than usual. It’s shorter than July 19, 2020, the record for the shortest day. 1.47 milliseconds under 24 hours remained. July 26, 2022 shattered this record. 1.50 milliseconds shorter.
What’s wrong with Earth? Several things affect Earth’s rotation speed. Tidal forces, climate, melting polar ice, or Earth’s internal atmospheric motions. Satellite movement. The mechanism is confusing. No one knows how the present acceleration began.
Some link it to the Chandler oscillation. This oscillation of Earth’s axis of rotation causes the poles to shift irregularly. 3-4 meters. This wobble appears to have gone between 2017 and 2020.
If shortened days continue, a negative leap second might be considered. To synchronize with the Sun. “Skipping a second” might cause computer difficulties. We’re not there yet, say experts. 70% likelihood we’ve achieved a daily minimum…