Earth took 1.59 milliseconds off its rotation on June 29, 2022, becoming the shortest day on record since accurate daily measurements with atomic clocks began in the 1960s.
The length of the day is measured by how fast or how slowly the Earth spins, and data from recent years shows that the Earth is spinning faster than ever, according to scientists who study the Earth’s rotation.
Twenty-eight of the shortest days on record were in 2020, but June 29 and July 26 this year beat the shortest day of 2020. At the same time, the days are mysteriously getting longer, according to scientists who wrote about it in Science Alert. It’s not clear what explains the change, but scientists have predictions about potential causes such as changes in weather systems, major earthquakes, melting ice caps and more.
For many, these new findings, along with the intense heat we’ve been experiencing around the world and extreme flooding in Kentucky and Missouri, are prompting feelings of climate anxiety.
Climate anxiety is a state of heightened anxiety that can include feelings of guilt, grief and despair about the state of the environment, according to Earth.org. Fortunately, there are psychologists who spend time helping people cope with the fear that comes with the changes of the planet.
How to deal with climate anxiety
Understand that climate anxiety is normal, says Patrick Kennedy-Williams, co-founder of UK-based Climate Psychologists and author of Turn the Tide on Climate Anxiety.
It can even be good to welcome some climate anxiety because it often leads to more conversation, which can lead to more action and change, he says.
Most importantly, though, you should find a balance and know when it’s time to step back.
“We don’t want to stop thinking about it completely,” says Kennedy-Williams, “but at the same time, we know that too much climate information can be overwhelming.”
Kennedy-Williams suggests these tips for finding a balance:
- Try a news detox. Designate one or more times throughout the day when you don’t consume any news. Instead, use this time to do something for yourself.
- Find a community. Talk to others about what you feel and consider ‘climate cafes’ – these are groups that come together to discuss the state of the world.
- Spend time in nature. Consider going for a walk, visiting a park, or working remotely in a natural space like a garden. Activities like these will allow you to enjoy the beauty of nature and could also improve your mood.
- Take some action. Channel the emotions you feel to spread awareness about climate change by encouraging others to recycle or getting involved in grassroots campaigns.
“The caveat with climate action is that it has to be sustainable. But by that, we mean it’s action that’s sustainable for the planet, of course, but also sustainable for your own mental well-being,” says Kennedy- Williams, “You really invest a lot in self-care.”
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