New study suggests the days are getting longer
Friday, December 11, 2015, 5:25 PM - The days are getting longer, according to a new paper by researchers from the University of Alberta.
In 50 years, the length of a day will be 1.7 milliseconds longer.
While that may not seem like much, Mathieu Dumberry, lead author in the study and a professor of physics at the University of Alberta, says it represents a cumulative effect that will add up over time.
Dumberry's research team is studying past changes in sea level in order to make more accurate predictions about climate change. They're doing that by gaining a better understanding of movement in the Earth's core.
As glaciers melt, they shift mass from the pole to the equator, slowing down the rotation of the planet and creating longer days. Gravity from the Moon also contributes to slowing, as well as the flow of the planet's core.
"Over the past 3000 years, the core of the Earth has been speeding up a little, and the mantle-crust on which we stand is slowing down," Dumberry said in a statement.
The findings have helped researchers create more accurate predictions of how global sea levels will rise by the end of the 21st century.
"This can help to better prepare coastal towns, for example, to cope with climate change," Dumberry says.
"We're talking billions of dollars of infrastructure here."
The complete findings were published Friday in the journal Science Advances.
Source: University of Alberta
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