The Earth's Core Is Not Cooling As Fast As Presumed
Scientists from the University of Liverpool have used new data to determine how old Earth's inner core is.
In the new study published in Nature, the researchers from the University's School of Environmental Sciences determined that Earth's inner core was formed 1 - 1.5 billion years ago.
The inner core that is a giant ball of iron can be found in the Earth's deepest layer. The ball is larger than Pluto and is surrounded by a liquid outer layer. The dimension of the core is roughly over 750 miles in width.
The existence of the liquid metals on the outer layer of this iron ball is the main reason for our planet's magnetic forces. The increased magnetic field signals the first occurrence of dense iron at the Earth's core.
The study said that Earth's core is cooling down at a slower rate than presumed. This creates complications regarding the study of Earth sciences, especially since the solid inner core is growing at a rate of 1mm per year.
Liverpool palaeomagnetism expert Dr. Andy Biggin said in a press release, "This finding could change our understanding of the Earth's interior and its history." He added that, "The timing of the first appearance of solid iron or 'nucleation' of the inner core is highly controversial but is crucial for determining the properties and history of the Earth's interior."
Earth's magnetic field is a shield against harmful radiation from the sun. The finding complicates the understanding of just how the magnetic fields help us.
Dr. Biggins stated, "The results suggest that the Earth's core is cooling down less quickly than previously thought, which has implications for the whole of Earth Sciences."
"It also suggests an average growth rate of the solid inner core of approximately 1 millimeter per year, which affects our understanding of the Earth's magnetic field," he added.
The data shows that the rate at which the Earth's core is losing heat should preserve the planet's magnetic field for another billion years.