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New evidence suggests the Earth’s inner core no longer rotates faster than the planet’s outer layers

The uncertainty of science: The same scientists who in the late 1990s thought they had detected evidence that the Earth’s inner core rotates faster than the planet’s mantle now say that this faster rotation ceased sometime around 2009.

In 1996, Song and another researcher reported studying earthquakes that originated in the same region over three decades, and whose energy was detected by the same monitoring station thousands of kilometres away. Since the 1960s, the scientists said, the travel time of seismic waves emanating from those earthquakes had changed, indicating that the inner core rotates faster than the planet’s mantle, the layer just beyond the outer core.

…Now, Yang and Song say that the inner core has halted its spin relative to the mantle. They studied earthquakes mostly from between 1995 and 2021, and found that the inner core’s super-rotation had stopped around 2009. They observed the change at various points around the globe, which the researchers say confirms it is a true planet-wide phenomenon related to core rotation, and not just a local change on the inner core’s surface.

It is important to note that there has not been a consensus on this data, that some scientists even doubt the super-rotation ever existed. The data itself is sparse enough and includes enough gaps to allow for this disagreement, which also means this new conclusion is also uncertain.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Andrew M Winter

    For me these kinds of observations do not surprise much. I have been a fan of the works of Immanuel Velikovsky since childhood when I was listening to my father speak of him during The Velikovsky Affair years,

    Even that Wikipedia page calls his work “pseudohistorical”. That is complete B.S,. and anyone who bothers to read footnotes would know that.

    The main thing he wrote about that deals with the astro-physical and geo-physical aspects of Earth is that within written history, and the longer mythological memory of mankind the orbit and rotation of the Earth has been physically disrupted by close encounters with large extra terrestrial bodies. That in these events the fluid like parts of the inner Earth were repeatedly moving in a different direction than the surface crust of the Earth.

    Now the Earth’s core is, according to some, more solid than liquid, but the layers between that and the crust are viscous. If, as Dr Velikovsky postulates, and supports, the Earth’s rotation and orbit have been disturbed, then it is of little surprise that, since this happened within the memory of mankind, changes are still occurring.

  • M Puckett

    Conservation of angular momentum is a thing…color me skeptical.

  • pzatchok

    If the core slowed where did the energy go?
    To the crust? The Earth would be rotating faster.

    My other question is how is the Earths magnetic field created? Just by the metal in the Earth or by the difference in the core and mantel rotation speeds?

    Deep Earthquakes are random. Fully random. Totally random. We have no evidence of the fault lines that deep.

  • Andi

    Magnetic fields are created by moving charges. If the core somehow contains free electrons, then their revolution around the axis should generate a magnetic field.

  • Sippin_bourbon

    Well, clearly this is because of climate change.
    Or maybe Trump…

    Who or what are we blaming this week?


  • David Ross

    Ayyy LMAO Velikovsky and Hancock. Two Mottes and two Baileys. I note that “Velikovsky” isn’t allowed as a real word in this browser…
    At least cite Milankovitch if you want to go the route of other celestial bodies perhaps raising tides on Earth as might shift the mantle’s rotation against the core’s.

  • Cotour


    Even better listen to the first 5 minutes of this Dr. Chan Thomas interpretation of “The Adam and Eve Story” and what he proposes happens when the inner earth decouples from the crust and the planet changes its orientation 90 degrees.

    Milankovitch has nothing on Dr. Chan Thomas, we apparently are all doomed one way or another, no one gets out alive.

    “A declassified and sanitized document discussing the topic of lost ancient human civilizations, and cataclysms that occurred on earth thousands of years ago causing them to vanish from the earth without explanation. This peek into Chan Thomas’s Adam and Eve Story that answers questions about why so much mystery surrounds our ancient past and discusses ancient enigmas like the pyramids of Giza, Easter Island, Tiahuanaco, Baalbek, and the lost city of Atlantis.”

  • Icepilot

    1/10th of a degree per year from discrete data points (earthquakes) over 30 years? I don’t know what their error bars were, but would suggest they need a lot more data. Like maybe, 300 years.

  • Jeff Wright

    Conan and Tarzan fighting down in the hollow again-it’ll pass.

  • Phill O

    LOL Sippin_bourbon

    Yes, where did the energy go?

    What other phenomenon (theories) would explain the suggested observations?

    What is the drag (viscosity) caused by differing rotation rates (currents)?

    Flow of electron (or holes) does have a resistance but much lower than viscosity.

  • BLSinSC

    probably has to do with Biden – he stopped the oil and gas production!/s Does anyone think the EARTH has STOPPED creating oil and gas? Anyone REALLY think that all that oil and gas comes from dead dinosaurs and plants from MILLIONS of years ago?? I highly doubt it, but I’ve not stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in a while so I might need to take a trip and RECHARGE my senses!

  • Edward

    Phill O asked: “Yes, where did the energy go?

    There are plenty of sources and sinks. Assuming that the Earth in a closed system is a mistake. The Sun and Moon create tidal motions that can heat the Earth’s magma, similar to Jupiter heating IO, resulting in active volcanos. This heat energy comes from the Earth’s rotation on its own axis, so the rotation slows as the magma warms, and the Moon is accelerated (goes into a higher orbit, thus slowing down) due to these same tidal actions. The Earth’s rotation also slows, but is this driven by the crust slowing first or the magma slowing and the one dragging the other to a slower rotational speed due to the viscosity between the two? Either way, shouldn’t the core slow down last, thus always spinning a little faster than the crust? We also have to take into account the energies received from space (e.g. solar heating) and escaping into space (radiative cooling). There are energy transfers from volcanic action (heat from the interior escaping to the surface and atmosphere) and tectonic action.

    Viscosity between the core, the magma, and the crust? Is this a clear boundary or is it more amorphous, a little like molten glass vs solid glass?

    M Puckett‘s conservation of momentum suggestion may give us better answers, or at least easier answers, but we still have to consider the change in angular momentum of the Moon as it moves into higher orbits. The Earth is not an isolated, closed system.

    Andi is right. We need to consider the Earth as a rotating body when thinking about the generation of Earth’s magnetic field. This field, strangely, is offset from the rotational axis, so there are obviously other factors at work in its generation, such as convection currents in the magma. There is also the South Atlantic Anomaly aspect to Earth’s magnetic field, which is clearly a feature generated from something other than the planet’s rotation. Then again, the core is a huge chunk of iron, which is magnetic and thus affected by the magnetic fields within the Earth. So who can really say what is happening and what is causing it to happen?

    But most of all, Icepilot‘s note about the error bars pretty much says it all. The error bars (did we see any?) show us that there is uncertainty in this science. (Wait. Wasn’t that Robert’s opening line?).

    Well, now that I have answered everyone’s questions (right? Right?), my work here is done.

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