Feb 14, 2024

The Earth’s Core Is Cooling Way Faster Than We Thought, Scientists Say

Posted by in category: evolution

According to new research, the core of the Earth is cooling much faster and sooner than originally anticipated — a new mystery that could throw a wrench in our understanding of the planet’s evolution.

To get a better sense of how far along the Earth is in the process, scientists are studying the thermal conductivity of the minerals present in the layer between the planet’s core and mantle. The faster that hot center passes heat to the planet’s outer layers, the faster the Earth is losing the heat present in its core.

In a lab simulation, a team of researchers from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the Carnegie Institution for Science applied immense amounts of pressure and heat to a mineral called bridgmanite — which is found in the transitional zone between the core and mantle — to simulate the conditions deep below the surface. They then measured its thermal conductivity to get a better sense of the cooling processes at play.

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