WITH the Earth moving faster than ever in the last 50 years, this is the reason 2021 could be the shortest year in decades.
As reported by the BBC, scientists have discovered that the Earth is moving faster than ever in the last 50 years, experts believe this is the reason 2021 could be the shortest year in decades.
However, people probably won’t even notice the change as it will only be shorter by a matter of milliseconds.
The Earth is spinning faster on its axis than it has done for years, meaning that the days will be a little bit shorter.
It is not fully clear why the Earth is doing this but a number of factors are affecting the rotation, such as the motion of its molten core, its atmosphere and the oceans.
The Earth takes approximately one day to complete one full spin and over centuries experts have divided that time up into hours, minutes and seconds which means there are more and more accurate ways to measure that time.
However, because the Earth is now spinning a tiny bit faster, the average 24-hour day is predicted to be 0.05 milliseconds shorter than usual in 2021.
Graham Jones, an astrophysicist, says that if the Earth’s rotation gets too far out of balance with the “super steady beat of atomic clocks”, then adding or subtracting a leap second could be used to bring it back into alignment.
“Since the system of leap seconds was introduced in 1972, the Earth’s rotation has generally been a bit slow and so far, there have been 27 leap seconds, and they have all been positive.
“In other words, they have all added an extra second to our clocks, enabling the Earth to catch up.”
However, leap seconds have not been required since 2016 because the Earth is getting faster. If this speed continues to increase, a “negative second leap” could be required. This would effectively mean official clocks may need to be adjusted and a second taken away from the year 2021.