The belief that the Earth's magnetic poles change places once, is not new. Some prophets used it in their apocalyptic predictions, arguing that it would destroy the planet and turn it "on the side", destroying all life on it.
It is well known that the polarity of the magnetic field of the Earth has changed over time. Geologists have noted the change, exploring the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. When magma reaches the top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and is cooled with sea water, the crystals in the frozen magma are guided by the magnetic field of the earth. Thus, the tracks solidified magma become the original geological diary, where it is mentioned as a magnetic field changed over Earth's history. This phenomenon points to the frequent change of polarity in the past, with a period of fifty to a hundred million years.
The last five million years of magnetic field characterized by long periods of stability, lasting from 450 to 590 thousand years old, with short inversions between them. The last change of the poles occurred 780,000 years ago, so that, according to estimates of some experts, another reversal is imminent.
Earth's magnetic field is generated by currents flowing in a liquid metallic core, which surrounds the planet's core of solid iron. The rotation of the planet drives the liquid core, moving spirally from the poles to the equator, and as in the case of copper wire surrounding the iron core, resulting electrical currents generate a magnetic field. Presumably, the inversion occurs when large areas of the outer core are reversed. If the area is changing areas large enough, there is a change of polarity. However, this does not happen instantly. This process can take thousands or even tens of thousands of years. The very thing that can happen when you change the polarity and cause for concern.
When, finally, the inversion occurs, we will have an idea of its implications for the planet and its people.
Speculation predictive pessimism based on the fact that at the time of changing the polarity of the Earth's core is solid metal change its position by 180 degrees, the process, in its turn, will lead to changes in the position of the planet in the space of 90 degrees. The result will be a change of latitude and longitude, as well as the destruction of humanity in the process. This is absolutely wrong. Only the size of the nucleus can affect the magnetic field. Growing at the rate of core will field more powerful, while decreasing the core will weaken the magnetic field of the planet. The orientation of the kernel itself does not play a role. Even if this assertion were true, then the propagation of changes from a solid to a liquid core, and then to the mantle would have taken millions of years before we would have felt the changes on the surface.
What is really able to make the inversion of the poles — is to weaken the magnetic field of the planet for a thousand years or more, until the conflicting magnetic fields in the liquid core of the Orient in a new direction. Weakened magnetic field would expose us to a more intense solar radiation and charged particles could penetrate large, albeit temporary, the hole in the ozone layer. This would greatly affect the operation of all kinds of machinery. Even now, solar storms and coronal mass ejections can cause malfunction of computers, communication systems and power grids. Weakened magnetic field would increase this effect. We would certainly have lost all orbiting satellites, including GPS systems and communication lines, power lines regularly would go down or would have been completely unusable. In addition, the magnetic poles would be a few that would make the orientation of the compass more than difficult. Specifically, these processes are not geomagnetic would destroy mankind, but with the usual way of life people would have to bow out.
There are some indications that the magnetic field was set in motion in the last century, besides its capacity falls.
"Over the past century, the magnetic north has moved more than a thousand miles" — said Professor of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oxford Conall MakNiokayl. "For the last hundred and fifty years the magnetic field of the Earth has lost 10 percent of capacity, which may signal a change of polarity."
There is another assumption: changes in the position of power and fit into the normal range observed for the last million years. Besides, if something happened in the past, not necessarily that the same will be repeated in the future.
On the other hand, there is a large area near South Africa and the South Atlantic, known as the South Atlantic anomaly. It was opened in the nineties of the last century and is a weak point in the magnetic field of the planet. Its existence may indicate processes in Earth's liquid core, associated with the change of polarity. Yet, this site exists in a single copy, so it is difficult to judge, this is usually a phenomenon or a sign of things to come.
The European Space Agency in the next month is launching a new program Swarm. Two satellites over the poles of the earth will analyze the changes in the magnetic field, and one who is a more distant orbit, will collect data on the impact on the field of solar radiation. These studies will help to better understand geomagnetic processes and accurately assess the extent of the changes.
Category: Scientists, experts, science