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Change in Earth’s rotation will make humanity lose one second

Washington, Mar 29 (Prensa Latina) The Earth's rotation will change in the coming years, making humanity to lose one second of its time, due to the melting of polar ice caps, a new study published in the journal Nature confirmed.

According to the research, conducted by the University of California in San Diego, in the United States, with the melting of polar ice caps, time as we measure it until now may slow down and the “disappearance” of that supposedly imperceptible second will occur from 2026 to 2029.

Hours and minutes are determined by the planet’s rotation, which is not constant and may change slightly, depending on what happens on the Earth’s surface and in its molten core.

“Although such variations might seem imperceptible, they sometimes mean that the world’s clocks must be adjusted by a “leap second,” which would have a major impact on computer systems,” the research explains.

In addition to the melting of the ice caps, processes in the planet’s core are another factor that might shift global timekeeping, the report points out.

The study’s lead author, Duncan Agnew, noted that the Earth’s liquid core spins independently of its solid outer shell, and if it slows down, the solid shell ramps up its speed to maintain momentum.

“We still don’t know why the core’s speed is changing and very little is known about what is occurring approximately 2,800 kilometers below the surface,” the scientist referred.

“What is certain is that, even though the melting of polar ice caps exerts a decelerating influence, overall the Earth’s rotation is accelerating. That means that the world will soon need to subtract a second for the first time,” Agnew noted.