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Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimated

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-get-dizzy dept.

Earth 223

intellitech writes "Scientists at the University of Cambridge believe they have achieved the first accurate estimate of how much faster Earth's core is rotating compared to the rest of the planet. The rate — about one degree every million years — is much slower than previously thought and arises from the complex dynamic between Earth's inner and outer core, which generates Earth's geomagnetic field. Without our magnetic field, Earth's surface would not be protected from charged particles spewing from the Sun, and life would not be able to exist."

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223 comments

oh GAWD NO! (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281788)

we have to quickly assemble a team to tunnel to the center of the Earth with nuclear bombs to restart the core's rotation!

Re:oh GAWD NO! (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281992)

we have to quickly assemble a team to tunnel to the center of the Earth with nuclear bombs to restart the core's rotation!

But how can we obtain the needed unobtainium?

Re:oh GAWD NO! (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282254)

unobtainium?

First we'll construct the vehicle out of obtainium. Using it we'll then obtain the unobtainium. Then we'll coat the vehicle with the unobtainium we obtained with the obtainium.

Is there anything obtainium can't help you obtain.

Re:oh GAWD NO! (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282442)

But how can we obtain the needed unobtainium?

Duh, time machine. Go get some from after when we've already gotten some. Too easy.

Re:oh GAWD NO! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282034)

Why do you think Steven Tyler is judging on American Idol? To pick the crew's theme song, of course!

Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimated (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281800)

And yet everything is still working. How many other 'estimations', such as distances to distant stars, etc, can be off by a small percentage that would result in a large amount of actual distance? We're human and we do the best we can at estimating.

so how far is the date / year off? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281940)

so how far is the date / year off?

Re:so how far is the date / year off? (1)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282070)

The rate our fractured governments achieve anything, we are totally fucked if this happens in the next thousand years.

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281998)

yeah, if some of the standard candles [wikipedia.org] they use to estimate cosmic distances are off by more than a little bit, the error could propagate outwards in a big way. These include things like Cepheid variables and certain types of Supernovae. However if some of your distance scales overlap, it gives some confidence in the numbers and a way to cross-check the estimates.

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282190)

Another possibility would be to neglect a systematic, distance-dependent effect (either because nobody thought of it, or because the effect is as of yet unknown). For example, say that due to some unknown effect the light intensity decreases slightly faster than 1/r^2. Then we would overestimate the distances of far away galaxies. Since all standard candles would be affected the same way, we would not detect it by comparing the distances calculated with different standard candles.

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282046)

Galactic and intergalactic distances are often estimates.

Even a "known" distance like Sol to Alpha Centari A has a margin of error - 4.365 ± 0.007 ly

Gliese 581, which has been in the news recently is estimated to be 20.3 ± 0.3 ly distant

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliese_581 [wikipedia.org]

When something is 43,650,000,000,000 kilometers away, does it matter how many hundreds of thousands of kilometers the margin of error is?

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282156)

You'd hate to run out of gas while traveling that extra 0.3 light years, wouldn't you?

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282338)

Since space travel like that is all about the coasting, fuel state wouldn't be a problem.

If you've designed the RTGs to keep the system warm for 20.3ly, the trip being only 20.0 or 20.6 shouldn't really be a mission breaker should it?

When one drives 20.3 miles and the trip actually takes 20.6, does that usually end in running out of fuel?

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

frostfreek (647009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282438)

Yes, but in a car, you can use the brakes to slow down...

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282542)

And in space you can use a planet or star's gravity to slow down.

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282464)

Depends. If you're only travelling at thousands of miles per hour (assuming generations of humans living in this imaginary spacecraft) then you may need quite a bit of fuel for course correction towards the "end" of the journey.

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282524)

As the imaginary ship gets closer then the margins of error on the distance gets smaller so smaller adjustments are needed.

They build in course corrections into long space flights like this for a reason.

If you read up on the history of space probes within our Solar System, you'll see course corrections built into the mission for just this purpose.

http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/vss/docs/navigation/1-what-is-course-correction.html [northwestern.edu]

Re:Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimat (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282786)

Even a "known" distance like Sol to Alpha Centari A has a margin of error - 4.365 ± 0.007 ly

And that's one of the beautiful and valuable things about science - that it is able to quantify and bound the error in its measurements / predictions / certainty. Small minded pundits, especially when they want to attack a conclusion produced by science, go on and on about how science can never be certain about anything: it's all just a theory. As though a theory has no value because it has some uncertainty in it! Or because every detail of every intermediate step isn't perfectly quantified. Just because I can't say that Alpha Centauri is exactly 4.365 ly away isn't the same as saying I don't know how far away it is: I can say, with certainty, that it is more than 4.358 ly away and less than 4.372 ly. Even if it is not exact, it's still pretty damn useful and insightful.

Consequences (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282496)

Tapping geothermal energy slowly cools the liquid rock in the outer core. As it solidifies over time, this will eventually have the effect of bringing the rotation rate between the inner/outer core closer together in speed. That, then, could have disasterous consequences for us.

I would expect, however, that the waste-heat exhaust into our atmosphere would cause over-time climate change that would have equally disasterous consequences even sooner. That problem is moot though because the earth is absorbing heat from the sun far faster than it is radiating heat, which will continually cause climate change, and there isn't much we can do about that.

Re:Consequences (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282640)

One single volcanic eruption uses more core energy than all of mankind has EVER used in his entire existence in every single energy form.

Let me guess, these whacks also believe that windmills will slow down the wind and cause us to not have any more wind and weather.

DONT USE SOLAR POWER! YOU'RE MAKING THE SUN DARKER!

Re:Consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282650)

If we can get the heat from global warming into the upper mantel this should help keep it liquid. Now all we need is a conductor to move the the heat from the atmosphere to the mantel.

I have exactly the same problem. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281846)

My inner core rotation is much slower than it should be, especially after a biggish lunch.

Re:I have exactly the same problem. (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281878)

Glad we can get to the core of the issue.

Re:I have exactly the same problem. (1)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282094)

This appears to be a failed pun thread. I suggest we try and save it.

2digitUIDalert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282200)

gobak2nursinghome, grandpa

Re:I have exactly the same problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282336)

So how much did that userid cost you?

Re:I have exactly the same problem. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282160)

A large lunch should increase your inner core rotation, how else are you going to make room?

Or ... (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281884)

Earth's surface would not be protected from charged particles spewing from the Sun, and life would not be able to exist.

... life would have evolved in such a manner or in a location so as to tolerate the particle flux. In the ocean, for example.

Re:Or ... (5, Funny)

kabloom (755503) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281918)

You mean... "God would have created us in such a manner or in a location so as to tolerate the particle flux. In the ocean, for example." Right?

Re:Or ... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281954)


Amazing how much work omnipotence can get done in 6,000 years!

Re:Or ... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281986)

being omniscient helps out a lot, too!

Re:Or ... (1)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282080)

Tasteless, odorless and colorless too.

Re:Or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282126)

I've always wondered what god tastes like...

Re:Or ... (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282356)

Wafers. I tried him once, at a friend's cannibalistic Sunday religious ceremony, and God tastes like cardboard wafers.

Or ... (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282066)

The particle flux is part of God's creation too. We wouldn't 'tolerate' it, we would rejoice in it as evidence of his bountiful provision of life-affirming radiation for us, his children. For without it we wouldn't be as we would be, and what are the chances of that happening through accidental evolution? Not much!

Re:Or ... (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282146)

Behold! He's coming with the clouds! And every eye shall be blind with his glory! Every ear shall be stricken deaf to hear the thunder of his voice! Come forth and drink the waters of the Glow, for this ancient weapon of war is our salvation, it is the very symbol of Atom's glory! Give your bodies to Atom, my friends. Release yourself to his power, feel his Glow and be Divided. There shall be no tears, no sorrow, no suffering, for in the Division, we shall see our release from the pain and hardships of this world. Yea, your suffering shall exist no longer; it shall be washed away in Atom's Glow, burned from you in the fire of his brilliance. Each of us shall give birth to a billion stars formed from the mass of our wretched and filthy bodies.

Re:Or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282602)

I'd say, "God would have watched us evolve via scientifically discoverable processes so as to tolerate the particle flux".

Belief in God != disbelief in evolution or other science.

Addendum: the capcha word just now was "praise". Maybe someone's trying to tell me something ;)

Re:Or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282002)

Or our atmosphere and oceans would have been stripped away like Mars.

Re:Or ... (2)

jandersen (462034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282234)

Possibly - there are some theories which suggest that the solar wind might have blown our atmosphere away were it not for the magnetic field, Mars' thin atmosphere is supposed to be an example of this because its magnetic field is weaker than Earth's.

Re:Or ... (2, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282538)

Venus manages to have an atmosphere 93 times more massive than Earth's while having no intrinsic magnetic field and being subjected to a stronger solar wind.

There is still much we have to learn.

Re:Or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282490)

yea yea millions of years everything went "just right"

You evolution guys smoke the good stuff i tell ya what...

Re:Or ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282610)

LOL you think we would have liquid water? Make makes you think we would have oceans ... you know, for example.

If Earth's surface would not be protected from "charged particles" which would FYI make it to hot here for life .... for example we would not have liquid water = no oceans to start with.

Do you guys not know you are looking at a earth that has been hurt? Ripped apart and lost the majority of it's hydro layer? Do you not know the earth you look at today has not been the same for millions of years. Just 4000 years ago the earth went though some battles called Noah's Flood and what you look at today is the junkyard left over. It's the only way you can explain the fossil records, animals don't just die and then turn to fossils, other animals would eat them, spreading the bones, etc. Just visit west texas to see this in effect. The mass coal deposits hmm? Mass Oil deposits? These are the mass remains of plant and animal (some human) life than all died at the same time. An asteroid doesn't cover it. We see over massive coal deposits what was laid down by water. Salt mines? Evolution doesn't offer even ONE reason what ALL of these are here. But you don't want to think about that with an open mind, you want to go on what some God hating teacher told you. The fact is for you evolutionist if there is a God, he might have some rules for you and it's the authority you hate which causes you to believe a lie.

Oh that's right you don't want to think about that do ya. Man you should hit up Vegas baby with all the odds and chances you believe take place. In your world the house never wins right? The house being chaos... for example.

urban legend anyway (0)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282674)

The earth is also shielded by solar wind interacting with the ionosphere. As the geomagnetic field has gone to zero during reversals and primates of 780 thousand years ago survived just fine, maybe we should just file this business of "no protection without magnetic field" under "more nonsense oft taught in schools that is rubbish".

Previous attempts to measure the rotation (1, Funny)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281910)

Attempts by scientists to measure the earth's rotation at its core failed previously due to motion sickness. However, after desensitizing researchers on The Zipper carnival ride, they were able to reach instruments without puking.

Re:Previous attempts to measure the rotation (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281994)

Ahh, The Zipper. I took my then-girlfriend on that ride once, she instantly became sick and refused to move for hours. Wouldn't even ride the damn Ferris wheel. I would have been bored if it wasn't for the good old Gravitron... which spins around, much like the Earth's core. Back on topic!

first accurate estimate (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281942)

This is an estimate, you'll note. But not just any estimate, it's the first accurate estimate.

Were previous estimates wild guesses made just for a laugh, with no expectation of accuracy?

And won't the next estimate researched be able to claim the same milestone, for all the same reasons?

Further results (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281950)

Further studies will show that the core is not only slower than thought, but slowing down quite rapidly. The estimated date for the core to stop spinning at all is December 21, 2012.

SCNR :-)

Re:Further results (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282068)

Wasn't that the actual plot of the movie 2012? That the earth's core was slowing down and all that energy was being transferred into heat instead, causing the mantle (which was made of water for some reason) to boil? I think I actually tuned out most of that movie because the science was so atrocious.

Re:Further results (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282348)

Wasn't that the actual plot of the movie 2012? That the earth's core was slowing down and all that energy was being transferred into heat instead, causing the mantle (which was made of water for some reason) to boil?

I think I actually tuned out most of that movie because the science was so atrocious.

They recycled The Core?

Re:Further results (1)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282380)

No the actual plot was even worse. That neutrinos from the sun, which are supposed to pass through matter without interacting, suddenly and inexplicably changed in some way such that they did interact with the earth's core, and that caused the heating.

2012 was a great movie, as long as you perceived it as a comedy -- I laughed the whole way through it.

A Resounding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35281970)

Meh.

We were wrong, and it didn't really affect much of anything.

Life is more robust than that... (4, Interesting)

mpthompson (457482) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281988)

It bothers me how often I hear absolutes with regards to "If not for XXX, life would not exist on Earth." Life has proven to be a lot more robust than such simple statements imply. Certainly, without a magnetic field, life on Earth would look a lot different than it does today as it would have adapted to a much different environment, but it would most certainly still exist with all other things being equal.

Re:Life is more robust than that... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282176)

Yep there would probably still be life deep in the oceans, especially near volcanic vents where the water would be warm and chemotrophic organisms could survive on the chemicals that spew out.

Remind me again of why anyone would want to explore Mars instead of Europa?

Re:Life is more robust than that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282318)

Because it's a lot closer?

Earth = 1 AU from the sun.
Mars = 1.5 AU
Jupiter = 5.2 AU

That's a long ways to go.

Re:Life is more robust than that... (2)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282368)

What oceans?
No magnetic field means there's nothing to stop solar winds from stripping earth of it's atmosphere.
With no atmospheric pressure, the oceans would boil at 0C (and the water vapor would then be blown off into space too).
Also, no magnetic field implies little to no plate tectonics, meaning volcanism is nonexistant, meaning no tasty little geothermal vents for microbes to snack on.

Make no mistake - without a magnetic field, life would most definitely not exist on this planet. This is not a case of life being fragile, it's a case of the universe being one giant miserable and goddamn inhospitable womb. The fact that life exists at all within it is testament to life's own robustness.

Re:Life is more robust than that... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282482)

With no atmospheric pressure, the oceans would boil at 0C (and the water vapor would then be blown off into space too).

Oh, good point 8-(

Re:Life is more robust than that... (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282728)

"What oceans?
No magnetic field means there's nothing to stop solar winds from stripping earth of it's atmosphere.
With no atmospheric pressure, the oceans would boil at 0C (and the water vapor would then be blown off into space too)."

Let me fix that for you.

Wild speculation has it that our atmosphere will be stripped off without a magnetic field. Most experts now disagree as Venus is proof that that is not true. Venus uses a ionopause (as does Mars) but it is generated a different way than Earth's magnetic field. Mars is a special instance because something catastrophic happened at one point. The atmopshere had enough pressure to hold liquid water (it can now, but only in low lying areas or short amounts of time), enough for oceans. What kind of atmosphere makes a difference too. Hydrogen verses carbondioxide for example.

The magnetic field does more by keeping us from getting cooked by radiation than anything else.

Re:Life is more robust than that... (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282506)

Remind me again of why anyone would want to explore Mars instead of Europa?

Because the monoliths told us to stay the hell away from Europa?

Re:Life is more robust than that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282760)

Because there's nothing but eurotrash on Jupiter's moons

Re:Life is more robust than that... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282250)

It bothers me how often I hear absolutes with regards to "If not for XXX, life would not exist on Earth."

But it's true. Ex falso quodlibet. If the core would spin only slightly faster, I'd be the richest man of the world!

Re:Life is more robust than that... (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282388)

If life really was so resilient we would have found ample traces of it on every other planet. The fact that we haven't yet found anything in our own solar system tells us that Earth itself has something very special which is absolutely necessary to life.

Re:Life is more robust than that... (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282562)

We haven't been able to look very closely. The jury is still out on the one place (Mars) we believe life is possible that we've been able to test repeatedly (at least robotically).

We haven't even begun to examine Europa and have barely tested Titan... and that's only considering the places in the Solar System where we think life is possible based on our understanding of where and how life can exist, which itself is constantly being challenged and broadened.

The Solar System might be teaming with life that we are nowhere near being able to find... we haven't even identified all the places on Earth where it can be found.

Re:Life is more robust than that... (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282588)

Well, we're pretty sure that intelligent life isn't there - at least none that has anything similar to a technological base. Not even close. There would surely have been numerous signs by now.

Decades down the line I may look like a fool for saying this, but I'm willing to stick my scrawny neck out and unequivocally state that there's no life on any planet other than Earth in our solar system.

Re:Life is more robust than that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282422)

Life, ah, ah, ah... finds... ah... a way.

Re:Life is more robust than that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282594)

You kinda need XXX for life to exist on earth, where do you think babies come from?

Or would exist differently? (1)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282006)

Would life really not be able to exist without Earth's specific geomagnetic field?
Or would it be able to exist anyway, just in a slightly different form?
I hear so many times how life needs extremely specific conditions to exist, and every year we find new forms of life that exist in conditions in which we previously thought unsuitable for life. Can we please stop having such a egocentric vision of where life can exist, and let us admit that we still don't really know what makes life possible or impossible yet.

I highly doubt the part about life not existing... (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282026)

...w/o magnetic field. We have oceans which are miles deep. We also have microorganisms which have been found in active volcanoes and inside nuclear reactors. Even humans spend most of the time inside radiation-shielding buildings and have survived trips to moon inside thin metal shell. I think it's more fare to say that life forms would be slightly different without magnetic field.

"Life would not be able to exist" (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282112)

Why do people keep claiming that if any of the conditions on earth were slightly different, then "life would not be able to exist". Doesn't it make more sense to say that if life did exist, it would be different without a magnetosphere? Life has been shown to be able to exist under some pretty severe conditions.

Re:"Life would not be able to exist" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282222)

An atmosphere certainly helps with a lot of shit....

Re:"Life would not be able to exist" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282276)

Some theories about Mars state that billions of years ago Mars had a significantly thicker atmosphere and extensive oceans. Today Mars has a thin atomsphere and no oceans. One of the theories as to why this happened is that the solar wind stripped the atmosphere off of Mars. This happened because Mars has no magnetic fields to deflect the solar wind.

This is all fairly recent and it is truly in the region of "hypothesis" and not "probably theory", but it seems plausable to me, technically educated layman that losing the magnetic field could end life on Earth. Then again, there is also some discussion that Mars methane may be indicitive of biological activity. If so, we haven't seen evidence for anything remotely resembling anything more complex than bacteria, yeast, or maybe algae.

"Life would not be able to exist" overstates the case. "Life as we are used to it being would not be able to exist" is a more reasonable statement.

Re:"Life would not be able to exist" (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282732)

Actually, "Mars had oceans" is the hypothesis. That the solar wind strips off the atmosphere of the inner planets is pretty well established.

There are theories that a weak magnetic field screwed Venus, too, as the solar wind knocked away the hydrogen that used to form its water, leaving the heavier oxygen to bind with carbon and sulfur.

Re:"Life would not be able to exist" (2)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282416)

It's a nice way to punch up a news article or info piece. I think they may teach it in journalism school: people are really interested in death, and the apocalypse is a great way to attract eyeballs.

Scientists usually don't say such things, and the Nature article doesn't. But apparently the person who submitted it figured that a one-sentence answer "Scientists do an experiment and come up with a slightly different number from last time" didn't quite cut it.

Usually, it's the press who adds such things before it gets to Slashdot, and I suspect that the submitter got to the Nature link from some blog or news page, but decided that linking straight to Nature would be more authentic. Or maybe the submitter does read Nature and went to j-school, so knew how to add the mandatory "apocalypse" part of the story.

Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282252)

ok. That's all I have to say.

It is still just an estimation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282520)

Shouldn't the title be "New Estimation For Earth's Inner Core Rotation Is Slower Than Old Estimation"?

Lets face it, we don't really now how fast it is rotating. We can make estimations and we can revise them, but they are still just estimations. But the title implies that the new estimation is something more concrete than an estimation.

Re:It is still just an estimation (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282742)

Shouldn't the title be "New Estimation For Earth's Inner Core Rotation Is Slower Than Old Estimation"?

No. An estimation has no speed.

Leave Out the Bit About Life (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282534)

Okay, I understand it is important to note why some specific area of research (Earth's core speed) is important research (relates to magnetosphere, amongst other things). But can we please leave out stupid addenda to summaries like, "Without our magnetic field...life would not be able to exist." The interesting news story here relates to geology, geophysics, and planetary models (something becoming more and more relevant as we explore further portions of our solar system). I would much rather see a discussion relating to those topics, than see a number of completely off-topic threads about whether or not life would or would not exist without the magnetosphere. Yes, that's an interesting question, but the existence of life has little to do with this research. And, as such, establishing a connection between the existence of life and the geophysical model of the Earth in the summary is little more than mild flamebait (off-topic-bait?).

What I am curious about is what, specifically, this type of research can do for our understanding of the magnetic poles traveling, our understanding of climate models, our understanding of other planetary bodies which we suspect might have a liquid core. Considering that life exists now (with the core being slower than we thought) and life existed within earlier models (when the core speed was suspected to be higher) I don't think these findings have much, if anything, to do with the potential for the existence of life. So can we please try to keep discussions on topic?

Dr. Evil doomsday device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282624)

I will stop the inner core rotation with my doomsday device.
Unless I am paid one million dollars.

Oh wait, how do I leave the planet.

Dr. Evil.

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