Earth's core is cooling at rates faster than previously thought, which could speed the planet's inevitable march toward inhabitability millions or billions of years from now, researchers said this week.
Earth's interior has been gradually cooling for the entirety of its 4.5 billion-year existence — a generally helpful pattern as the planet evolved into its current green paradise, where humans have thrived for the past 200,000 or so years.
"This perspective raises the question as to how fast the Earth has been losing heat throughout the Earth's history, which directly links to the fundamental question on how long the Earth will remain dynamically active," the scientists wrote in a paper published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
A group of scientists studied bridgmanite, a common conductive mineral that is found between the Earth’s core and mantle.
They found that it’s 1.5 times more conductive than previously believed. “We found the bulk thermal conductivity at core-mantle boundary becomes 1.5 times higher than the conventionally assumed value, which supports higher heat flow from core, hence more vigorous mantle convection than expected,” researchers added.
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