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The Earth's interior appears to be cooling much faster than expected

The Earth’s interior appears to be cooling much faster than expected

Earth cooling is slow and inevitable process, which began as soon as it formed 4.5 billion years ago. This phenomenon is evidenced by the cooling of magma oceans, giving rise to the rocky crust that makes up the continents. Like volcanoes or plate tectonics, the biological mechanisms in the Earth’s mantle depend on the flow of heat from the Earth’s core. However, since nothing is eternal, the heart of our planet will one day be extinguished …

Earth cooling phenomenon much faster than we thought?

On our scale, it is impossible to accurately assess the phenomena that occur in the depths of the Earth. The core cools, it is a fact, but the speed of the process remains unknown until then. Research continues, and a new discovery recently shook the world of science.

Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) warn that the planet’s interior could cool much faster than previously thought. This theory was created after examining a common deep-sea mineral: bridgemanite. It is the most abundant mineral in the layer between the outer core and the Earth’s lower mantle. As a result, bridgmanite can play a major role in Heat transfer process inside our planet. It is a complex study that can only be done in specialized laboratories.

shocking results

For the experiment, the researchers made a diamond anvil cell in which they placed samples of the metal. They then used a laser system to heat the device to reproduce the extreme conditions (pressures and temperatures) inside the Earth. To measure the ability of bridgemanite to conduct heat, they used an optical absorption system. The observation revealed a much higher thermal conductivity of bridgemanite, that is, 1.5 times more compared to previous hypotheses. This number indicates that Heat travels more quickly between the Earth’s core and mantle, thus accelerating the cooling process.

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image credit: stock struggle / rust 9

Metal more efficient heat conduction

And that’s not all! Motohiko Murakami, the study’s corresponding author, declares that when bridgemanite As it cools, it leads to another mineral that is more efficient at conducting heat: post-perovskite. Thus, the cooling phenomenon will precipitate when this component dominates the boundary layer. Rest assured, there are still a few billion years left before our planet dies from the inside. For now, let’s focus our efforts on the problems of climate change that are increasing day by day…