Changes in iron's strength just before it melts is causing a seismic-wave slowdown in Earth's inner core, according to a study in the journal Science. Using a new computer model, researchers at University College London found that iron's strength wanes, changing the speed of seismic waves passing through the core. "We may soon be in a position to produce a simple model for the inner core that is consistent with seismic and other geophysical measurements," said Lidunka Vocadlo, who co-authored the study.

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