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."
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Source: New Scientist
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