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The danger that comes from the center of the Earth

The danger that comes from the center of the Earth

Ground Report | New Delhi: Earth in danger; Scientists have been warning for years about a series of threats to the future of humanity, such as the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – the terrible cause of global warming – storms, tropical storms and other weather phenomena. The enemy, therefore, usually comes “from above”, but now there is also an internal warning, straight from the center of the Earth. The planet’s core is cooling faster than previously thought. In the short term, the change could increase the incidence of phenomena such as volcanic eruptions and tidal waves. In the long run, the effects will be even more devastating.

The inner part of the terrestrial globe is formed by an inner core, an outer core, the mantle and the crust, with a distance of approximately 3 000 kilometers between their extreme points. The core temperatures, which today vary between 4,400 degrees and 6,000 degrees, similar to those of the Sun, have gradually cooled over the last 4.5 billion years, in a process that is confused with the evolution of life itself. At first, the surface was a sea of ​​magma. Over the course of a few million years, it took the form we know and which allowed the emergence of life on Earth.

It is, therefore, a very slow phenomenon, so that none of us, not even our closest descendants, are in any danger of seeing the center of the Earth cool to the point where humanity’s home is an inert place, like Mars or Mercury. ( see below ). A study recently released by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) in partnership with the Carnegie Institution for Science, in the United States, however, pointed to a surprising acceleration in the natural cooling process, which increases the risk of disorders or so far away.

It is in the center of the Earth that the magnetic field is formed that protects the planet from a specific type of radiation, the so-called solar winds. The heat from the depths also triggers the movement of tectonic plates, giving rise to eruptions like that of the active volcano Etna, in the Sicily region of Italy. According to the scientists at ETH Zurich, changes in the temperature inside the core could interfere with how the plates work. As a result of this process, it is possible for tidal waves and eruptions to happen more frequently and in places that have never experienced such a thing.

The effects of cooling will be severe. Deep sea fish and plants would die, as the sun’s rays do not reach there and they depend on the heat of the Earth’s center. This would unbalance the food chain and drive surface species to extinction. There are other curious effects. The spinning of molten rocks from the Earth’s core, rich in metals, produces electricity and generates the Earth’s magnetic field. With the core cold, these rocks would solidify and the magnetism would end. That is, all compasses would stop working, as the Earth would be without its magnetic field. The planet as we know it is the sum of countless physical phenomena. It’s impossible to control most of them, like what goes on at their core. It is up to humanity to preserve the other side—the one above.

A new red planet?

Despite the efforts of study leaders to ensure that it is still too early to draw conclusions about the risks of the Earth’s center cooling to the point of causing concern for its inhabitants, comparisons with our most fascinating and mysteriously surrounded solar system neighbor have been inevitable. (Earth in danger)

According to the authors of the research, the phenomenon could cause the movements of tectonic plates to decelerate to an irreversible point, interrupting the activity in the mantle and the protection of the Earth’s magnetic field. To put it simply: this would make Earth as barren as Mars.

“Our results can give us new perspective and suggest that Earth, like the other rocky planets Mercury and Mars, is cooling and becoming dormant much faster than expected,” said Japanese scientist Motohiko Murakami.

The study, Earth and Planetary Science Letters , did not point out what can be done to stop or remedy the process of cooling the core, but intrigued the international scientific community, which should delve into the topic. Earth’s Martian saga is just beginning.

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