According to TimeAndDate.com, our planet has set a record by completing one revolution faster than in the entire history of such tracking. The Earth made one revolution on its axis on Wednesday, June 29, 1.59 milliseconds faster than 24 hours.
As early as the 1960s, atomic clocks began tracking data like this with great precision. Often, scientists have recorded that the rotation of the Earth is slowing down. The International Earth Rotation Service (IERS) has even begun adding leap seconds from time to time to compensate for the slower rotation (the last time it happened was December 31, 2016).
However, in the past few years, atomic clocks have confirmed that the Earth’s rotation is accelerating. In 2020, scientists recorded the 28 shortest days since 1960. Last year, this trend did not continue: the shortest day in 2021 turned out to be longer than the previous year.
However, on June 29, 2022, our planet completed its fastest rotation. This was followed by a day that lasted 1.50 milliseconds less than 24 hours on July 26, 2022. The previous record was set on July 19, 2020, when the Earth’s rotation took 1.4602 milliseconds less than 24 hours.
The acceleration of the Earth’s rotation has consequences because the atomic clocks used in GPS satellites do not account for the change in the Earth’s rotation. If the Earth rotates faster, then it reaches the same position a little earlier. Half a millisecond is equal to 26 centimeters at the equator. The source claims that in theory this could cause GPS satellites to become inaccurate.
It also talks about the possible consequences for smartphones, computers and communication systems that are synchronized with accurate time servers.
Scientists do not have an exact explanation, because of which the planet began to rotate faster. Someone believes that this can be influenced by the processes taking place on the planet, in the outer layers of the atmosphere, oceans, climate, and so on. There is also a version that the rotation accelerated following the uneven movement of the geographic poles of the planet and the axis of rotation.