Earth’s core may be cooling quicker than assumed: We may not be here for long

Fareeha Arshad

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After the Big Bang, when Earth was formed, it cooled over the years to develop the crust layer, which now holds all the different life forms as we see today. However, Earth’s inner core remains molten until this day - or that is what had been assumed for long.

Though the scientists were aware that the planet’s core has been cooling over the billions of years since its creation, they hadn’t realized it was cooling faster than they assumed. According to researchers, this could be a problem because the cooling of the Earth’s core is directly tied to our rapidly approaching extinction in a few million years.

In its 4.5 billion years of existence, the planet has cooled to give billions of diverse life forms and has homed some of the most beautiful creatures. Because of its habitable conditions, humans have evolved into the most complex beings and have reached the pinnacle of human success in history. However, with the cooling down of the planet’s core, scientists are worried that lowering the temperatures of Earth’s core will affect its activity in the coming millennia.

According to the joint research study by scientists from Switzerland, U.S., Germany, and Japan, Earth’s core has been cooling down at 1.5 times the fast rate than previously thought. With the rapid cooling, the planet’s magnetic fields that protect us from harmful cosmic radiation will be affected in the long run, thus turning Earth into an inhabitable planet unable to hold any life forms whatsoever. Scientists are still guessing how long will it take for this to happen. However, according to a 2013 study by the University of East Anglia, U.K., Earth still can hold life for about 1.75 to 3.25 billion years into the future.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

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