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Science & Technology

Magnetic reversal hints in Earth's core

July 15, 2012 | Comment icon 14 comments



Image Credit: NASA
The Earth's magnetic field may flip every few thousand years due to lopsided growth of the planet's core.
Scientists investigating the phenomenon of magnetic field reversal have determined that these shifts are likely to be connected to the growth of the core. The findings also suggested that the next reversal could be underway and that if this happens it could prove disastrous for power grids and communications systems.

"What we found that is interesting in our models is a correlation between these transient [shifts] and reversals [of Earth's magnetic field]," said Peter Olson of Johns Hopkins University. "We kind of speculate there is that connection but the chaos in the core is going to prevent us from making accurate predictions for a long time."
Lopsided growth of the Earth's core could explain why its magnetic field reverses direction every few thousand years. If it happened now, we would be exposed to solar winds capable of knocking out global communications and power grids.


Source: New Scientist | Comments (14)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by questionmark 10 years ago
If true we're seriously up sheeet creek without a paddle Not really, the only thing we would notice is that our magnetic compass shows in the wrong direction. It would be worse if the magnetic field collapsed.
Comment icon #6 Posted by csspwns 10 years ago
at least tat wont happen within our lifetimes
Comment icon #7 Posted by Paracelse 10 years ago
Not really, the only thing we would notice is that our magnetic compass shows in the wrong direction. It would be worse if the magnetic field collapsed. And without cell phones (which is not really a big of a deal but also without any gudance systeme for airplaines and radars which is bad ... and no missiles control ...and this is perhaps good
Comment icon #8 Posted by Uncle Sam 10 years ago
It happen before, it will happen again. It also happen while humans were on this planet, so basically it won't be so bad if we prepare for it. Harden our infrastructures to electromagnetic pulse that will be generated by the pole reversal and we will be fine. Of course we got to compensate for the mix-up of the weather that will happen on the planet. Not really, the only thing we would notice is that our magnetic compass shows in the wrong direction. It would be worse if the magnetic field collapsed. That would be bad, very bad... magnetic field collapse that protects us from the bombardment o... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Ciara Rodriguez 10 years ago
And here we go again!!! how many times the government will change the story.!!! come on!!! Mayas and now this give me a break !!! is coming PERIOD . whatever it is , is here and we are going to get it!! whatever it is...
Comment icon #10 Posted by justcalmebubba 10 years ago
this realy makes perfect thinking in world cycles with exception of sum astroid smacking the hell out of us (the planet) weather,evirmental even in evolution when you take in the count of planet rotational stress and gravity now add in the core movements an plate drifts, volcainos,weight surge, planet contrast shaping altogeather well hell yeah the earths going to flip over whats realy there to stop it from happening? thats like a reverce rotation have you ever watched water drain out of a sink depending on what part of the world your standing on is what way it drains outstop the flow you simp... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by justcalmebubba 10 years ago
this realy makes perfect thinking in world cycles with exception of sum astroid smacking the hell out of us (the planet) weather,evirmental even in evolution when you take in the count of planet rotational stress and gravity now add in the core movements an plate drifts, volcainos,weight surge, planet contrast shaping altogeather well hell yeah the earths going to flip over whats realy there to stop it from happening? thats like a reverce rotation have you ever watched water drain out of a sink depending on what part of the world your standing on is what way it drains outstop the flow you simp... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by justcalmebubba 10 years ago
this realy makes perfect thinking in world cycles with exception of sum astroid smacking the hell out of us (the planet) weather,evirmental even in evolution when you take in the count of planet rotational stress and gravity now add in the core movements an plate drifts, volcainos,weight surge, planet contrast shaping altogeather well hell yeah the earths going to flip over whats realy there to stop it from happening? thats like a reverce rotation have you ever watched water drain out of a sink depending on what part of the world your standing on is what way it drains outstop the flow you simp... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by NoiseBleed 10 years ago
the evidence they ahve to show this is that deep on the ocean floor, the sedemnt very slowly moves, and as it does it becomes charged positive or negative based on the way the poles are oriented. they've found that ever few thousane years, as the sea floor is generated, the new parts show that it was charged one way for thousands of years, and then the other for thousands of years.
Comment icon #14 Posted by NoiseBleed 10 years ago
oh and also, they have shown the only thing that would happen because of the shift, is that the wind may blow differently changing some climate of some of the earth, and compases would point the other way. of these things nothing devastating would come logically. get a life all of you end of worlders


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