Earth's Magnetic Field Could Be About To Flip Upside Down

Posted by Sughra Hafeez in Science and Technology On 7th February 2018

Leading scientists warn Earth's magnetic poles are about to flip, due to changes in the core of our planet.

This sounds like the plot for a disaster movie:

An invisible magnetic force-field that defends life on Earth against killer rays from space goes awry. Blasts of radiation destroy our satellite communications and bring the world’s electricity supplies crashing down.

The difference between magnetic north and true north is around 11 degrees.

The position of magnetic north is more than 600 miles from where it was in the early 19th century, and the movement has accelerated to around 40 miles a year.

And it has moved much more than this in the past.

Geological records show the field has "flipped" completely upside down hundreds of times over the last half a billion years.

This is both good and bad if you’re concerned about how a geomagnetic reversal will affect life on Earth.

The sluggish polar meander is good because it means we have time to prepare and can do our best to mitigate any negative effects before they get really bad. But it’s bad, because our planet’s magnetic field helps shield us from damaging solar and cosmic radiation, and a protracted flip means Earth might be slightly less protected from harmful space rays for longer than we would like.

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