A reversal of the magnetic poles is long overdue, warn scientists
The earth completely switches its magnetic poles a few times every million years. The last reversal, the Brunhes-Matuyama, occurred 780,000 years ago. Scientists, therefore, calculate that the next one is imminent.
Of course, this conjures up panic in many people’s imaginations. What will life be like when it happens? To find out, scientists study what happened when it occurred previously. 780,000 years ago, the thriving flora and fauna on our planet showed no signs of distress during the reversal. Scientists are therefore more than certain that humanity would survive.
Would the effect on modern humans be more likely to impact our lifestyles?
What would be the magnetic pole reversal effects on humans? Would we lose all of our technology? To what degree is not fully known by scientists. It would most likely affect the animals of our planet that have magnetoreception. Migratory patterns of many birds and whales may become interrupted.
Effects upon our lives would likely be gradual. The duration of time it takes for the magnetic poles to complete a process of reversal can take between 1,000 – 10,000 years. To find out what consequences this pole reversal would have on our lives, we need to know what it is, and is not.
Magnetic poles are in a constant state of change
Deep within the center of the earth, the core is a compacted liquid ball of iron. This iron is likely the same temperature as the surface of the sun. When satellite imaging-derived data about how it functions, it appeared to show a magnetic beating heart.
This shows that the magnetic poles are in a constant state of change. The magnetic poles are also different to the geographic poles. The geographic pole is the unchanging axis of the earth upon which it spins. The magnetic pole is where compasses point to.
Currently, the magnetic and geographic poles are about 2000 km apart. The northern magnetic pole has been migrating very slowly southward, but it has sped up since the 70s. It moves at around 50 km per year, the estimation is that it will reach Siberia by 2040.
The magnetic poles create an invisible force field around the earth that shields us
The sun is constantly bombarding the earth with radiation, which the magnetosphere deflects. However, the earth’s atmosphere also works as a shield. And the atmosphere would remain the same despite a pole shift.
So the magnetic pole reversal would barely impact our climate. In fact, human emissions do far more damage already, than a pole reversal could ever achieve. This should allay the fears of anyone who worries that the reversal would initiate a super storm.
Doomsayers are spreading the myth that magnetic pole reversal effects will be catastrophic
They compare it to wild solar storms that the earth has already experienced. As a result, they assume that a temporary loss of the magnetosphere, whilst it switches polarities, will create devastation.
They bring up incidents such as the Halloween storms in 2003, and the Carrington Event of 1859. The Carrington Event saw severe disruptions to the primitive telegraph systems of the time. The night time sky became filled with spectacular auroras where you would not expect to see them.
Such a solar storm, if it occurred today, could see trillions of dollars’ worth of damage done to things like our modern technology. However, this phenomenon bears no relation to a pole reversal.
It would be unfortunate to experience a severe solar storm during the weakest point of a magnetic pole reversal. But such a thing would be an unlikely coincidence.
Preparations to protect our technology will include developing satellites designed using anti-radiation materials. And for humanity? Things will likely carry on as they already are. Maybe you will catch some auroras showing up in odd locations around the planet.
And to be honest, the worst that will likely happen is that you will simply have to buy a new compass.