Is the Earth spinning faster?

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Yes, the Earth is spinning faster. The shortest day ever recorded was on June 29, 2022, which was shorter than a typical 24-hour day by 1.59 milliseconds1. This acceleration in Earth's rotation has been observed since 20163. However, scientists emphasize that this is a normal fluctuation and not a cause for immediate concern24. The reasons for this acceleration are not entirely clear, but several theories have been proposed. Some scientists suggest that climate change, specifically the melting of glaciers, could be contributing to the increase in Earth's rotational speed. As ice caps melt, the redistribution of mass could lead to an increase in angular velocity, similar to a spinning figure skater pulling their arms in to spin faster3. Other theories include seismic activity, movements in the Earth's molten core, and the "Chandler Wobble"—a natural shifting of the Earth's axis due to the planet not being perfectly spherical56. Despite the increase in Earth's rotational speed, the change is so small that it's not noticeable in our daily lives. The slight increase does not mean that days are going by noticeably faster4. However, it could have implications for systems that rely on precise timekeeping, such as GPS satellites, which use atomic clocks6.
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