the center of our planet is cooling faster than expected, here are the consequences

The center of our planet is obviously cooling faster than previously thought. Explanations and consequences.

The cooling of planet Earth

The history of the evolution of planet Earth is tied to the history of the cooling the planet has experienced in the 4.5 billion years since the Earth’s surface was completely covered from a deep magmatic ocean, under extremely high temperature conditions. We sometimes hear about “mantle convection”, “plate tectonics” and other earthly activities, and know that all of these have been fueled by enormous thermal energies released from the depths of the Earth, during this period of “cooling”.

Since its formation, Earth releases large amounts of heat from the deep interior of the Earth to the surface, which primarily drives mantle convection and a number other tectonic activities. Knowing this, early on scientists wondered how fast the Earth was losing heat. It’s about a very important question since it is related to the fundamental question of how long the Earth will remain dynamically active (and indeed, viable). And the results of a new study on the subject call into question what we thought we knew until now.

The results of scientists

According to the study conducted by Motohiko Murakamia, Alexander F. Goncharov, Nobuyoshi Miyajima, Daisuke Yamazakiand Nicholas Holtgreweand published on the website ScienceDirect, the Earth’s core is cooling faster than scientists previously thought. To achieve this result, the scientists examined the conductivity of bridgmanitepreviously named as the most abundant material on Earth, found in large quantities between the core and the Earth’s inner mantle.

A piece of bridgmanite.

By subjecting bridgmanite to extreme temperatures and pressures, scientists found that it was approximately 1.5 times more heat conducting than previously thought. And this discovery is very important, since as a result, the transfer of heat from the high temperatures observed in the center of the Earth to its outer zones, such as the molten rock of the mantle and beyond, is happening faster than previously thought.

According to the teacher Motohiko Murakamifrom the Swiss university ETH Zurich:

Since we find that the thermal conductivity of bridgmanite is 1.5 times higher than previously thought, the heat transfer from the core is bound to be more efficient than previously thought, which ultimately leads to the core cooling faster than expected.

Therefore, one can ask the following question: do the scientists’ conclusions suggest that the Earth’s core could be in the process of cooling like other planets, such as Mars, faster than expected? Motohiko Murakami responds:

Yes, I believe so. However, the problem is how long it will take, which is extremely difficult to predict accurately. How long the Earth will remain dynamically active will certainly be one of the most important questions we will have to solve. However, the time scale that would be appropriate for this discussion should be millions, if not billions of years.

Time scales which therefore continue to surpass ourselves very widely. And if you want to know who was the first interstellar visitor that Earth encountered according to the Pentagonyou can read our previous article on the subject.

Leave a Comment