Earth’s Inner Core Stopped Spinning, But There is No Need to Panic

Photo by NASA on Unsplash.

A new study has shown that Earth’s inner core has stopped spinning and might also be changing direction. It appears that this is a process that might be happening every 60 to 70 years, impacting life on our planet, even though it isn’t threatening to us.

So, what exactly is the Earth’s inner core? Because of how hard it is to study, we don’t know as much about it as we’d like to. What we do know, though, is that it’s a solid metal ball that’s 75 percent of the size of the Moon. The core spins independently from the rest of our planet, because it is nestled in between a liquid outer core 3,000 miles underground and experiences levels of heat similar to what’s observed on the surface of the sun. Earth’s inner core plays many invisible roles, like playing a part in the generation of Earth’s protective magnetic field. 

This cyclical process of Earth’s inner core changing its direction of rotation appears to correlate within global mean temperatures and sea levels as well as the length of Earth’s day. More research is needed to learn just why and how much this affects life on Earth, but it’s interesting to think that major changes can happen on the surface of the planet on account of a big spinning ball of metal 3,000 miles below us.