Recently, scientists have recorded the shortest day on Earth since they began tracking the duration of the day using atomic clocks. On June 29, 2022, the Earth was reported to have moved around its axis 1.59 milliseconds faster than 24 hours.
It lasts 24 hours because the Earth orbits around its axis about 8,640,000 milliseconds. In the short term, the rotation rate may vary by a fraction of milliseconds a day. This means that the length of the day can change, but usually only slightly. Our planet is also experiencing long-term changes. It has been observed earlier that the planet is moving slower, and it takes more time to complete the day. Scientists believe that the speed of rotation of the planet decreases by several milliseconds every century.
However, this long-term trend has changed in recent years. The Earth's rate of rotation is increasing, and it needs less and less time to complete its full turnover. This means that the duration of the day is decreasing. In December 2020, Time and Data reported that during the year the Earth survived 28 of the shortest days since the use of atomic clocks to track the days of the 1960s. A record short day was recorded on 19 July 2020, when the Earth completed its turnover by 1.47 milliseconds faster than 24 hours. This value remained record until 29 June 2022, when the Earth's day ended by 1.59 milliseconds faster.
Scientists have several versions of why the Earth's rotation rate has increased. It is assumed that it can be influenced by various processes occurring on Earth, in the outer atmosphere, oceans, climate, and so on. There is also a theory that the earth's rotation has accelerated following the uneven movement of the planet's geographical poles and axis of rotation. If the trend to accelerate the Earth's rotation continues, scientists will have to take a second away from the atomic clock, which has never been done before.