The Earth may have stopped rotating and is expected to change direction
The rotation of the Earth's inner core may have stopped and may even go into reverse. This is the hypothesis raised by a new study.
In research published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Yi Yang, an associate scientist at Peking University, and Xiaodong Song, a professor at Peking University, studied seismic waves from earthquakes that have traveled through the Earth's inner core along similar paths since the 1960. It was precisely this research that led them to the conclusion they drew.
"What we found was unexpected," they said.
Since 2009, the seismic data, which previously varied over time, showed little change. This, they said, suggested that the rotation of the inner core had stopped.
"The surprising observations show that the inner core has almost stopped rotating in the last decade and may be experiencing a reversal," the researchers said. Meaning rotation in the opposite direction.
"However, the speed of this rotation, and whether it changes, is debatable," said Hrvoje Tkalcic, a geophysicist at the Australian National University who was not involved in the study.
"The inner core does not stop completely. The inner core is now more in sync with the rest of the planet than it was a decade ago when it was spinning slightly faster. Yes, nothing cataclysmic is happening", he said.
What is needed next are studies.