A new study suggests that Earth’s core is cooling down faster than scientists believed, and that could eventually turn our planet solid.
The study studied bridgmanite, a heat-conducting mineral found at the boundary between Earth’s core and mantle, and found that the planet was actually losing heat much faster than previously thought, USA Today reported.
“(The results) suggest that Earth, like the other rocky planets Mercury and Mars, is cooling and becoming inactive much faster than expected,” said Motohiko Murakami, the lead author of the study said in a news release about the findings.
Earth has been gradually cooling since it was first created 4.5 billion years ago, and looking at how quickly the Earth is cooling offers insight into how long the planet will continue thriving, NBC News reported.
Even though the process is now happening faster than scientists had believed, the timeline is still a long one. Murakami told USA Today the timeline “should be hundreds of millions, or even billions of years.”
When the Earth loses all of its heat, it will lose its magnetic field, which would cause the entire planet to become uninhabitable and solid rock, NBC News reported.
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