Once in a while, the magnetic field of our planet can flip, but scientists believe that it’s not going to happen too soon. According to a research which was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), an international group of scientists says that our planet’s magnetosphere will just wobble and not flip.
That’s Great News
And this study is great news because magnetic poles reversing will have major consequences on our Planet and on us. If the magnetic field reverses, the Earth will then be surrounded by a weaker magnetic field for a while, which reduces the protection against cosmic rays, it will over-expose living organisms to energetic particles and it will interfere with electrical grids, aviation, and electronics.
The conclusion of the study is that: “Earth’s magnetic field is not in an early stage of a reversal or excursion.”
Scientists claim that even if the geomagnetic field has declined by 5% since 1840 and even though there is an anomaly over the Atlantic Ocean in the south, this doesn’t mean that the reversal is imminent.
The last huge disruptions in the magnetic field were almost 41,000 years ago at Laschamp and 34,000 years ago at Mono Lake. Both lasted for over 1,000 years and contained many magnetic anomalies. These events were extreme, but it wasn’t catastrophic. The fields settled and again offered protection against cosmic rays, leaving the North and South in the place they are now.
It’s Bound to Happen
The study argues that it could happen again in the future, as the events take place a few times in million years, with a gap of up to 10 million years. But even with the reversal taking place, looking at the Laschamp event, it would take 250 years to develop and it would last 1,000 years, as a “temporary reversal”, giving humans time to prepare.
The authors of the study are scientists from Iceland, Germany, and the UK, working at universities, research centers and institutes: Maxwell Brown, Monika Korte, Richard Holme, Ingo Wardinski, and Sydney Gunnarson.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.