Earth’s Magnetic Field Expected to Flip Soon

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Earth’s Magnetic Field Expected to Flip Soon


26 Sep 08 - Two scientists think they have model that can predict magnetic reversals.
The magnetic field is rapidly decreasing, which, according to their model, means that the next reversal could occur in about 1500 years ... maybe.

They don't think it will have a big impact on human kind. (I thoroughly disagree.)

During a magnetic reversal, a compass needle would point toward Antarctica instead of toward the Arctic. The last reversal supposedly occurred about 780,000 years ago.

“Why these flip-flops happen at all is a great riddle, but a new hypothesis could shed light on the reason,” says a recent article on LiveScience.

A new study of ancient lava flows, reported today in the journal Science, shows that a second magnetic field source may help determine how and whether the main field reverses. This second field, which may originate just below the rocky mantle layer of the earth, becomes important when the main north-south field weakens, as it does prior to reversing, say geochronologist Brad Singer and paleomagnetist Kenneth Hoffman.

"Why [the flip] happens is something people have been chasing for more than a hundred years," said Singer.

"When the next reversal comes, it probably won't inflict much damage to life on Earth, Singer added.

“Though we could expect a slight increase in damaging cosmic radiation, which is usually repelled by the magnetic field, it shouldn't be enough to cause serious harm.

"The magnetic field has reversed itself hundreds, if not thousands, of times," Singer said.

"Right now, historic records show that the strength of the magnetic field is declining very rapidly. From a quick back-of-the-envelope prediction, in 1,500 years the field will be as weak as it's ever been and we could go into a state of polarity reversal," says Singer.

               I think they’re way off the mark when they says that a magnetic
               reversal shouldn’t allow enough radiation onto our planet to cause
               serious harm, Our magnetic field shields us from mutation-causing
               radiation. During a magnetic reversal that shield weakens – perhaps
               even temporarily disappears. As I propose in Magnetic Reversals and
               Evolutionary Leaps, that’s what drives evolution.

              I also think the reversal could come much sooner than they say.

Thanks to Han Voogtsgeerd , Dan Scott, Robert Folaron and Thomas Morstad for these links





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