Science

Earth’s Magnetic Poles Won’t Flip Yet After All

Earth's Magnetic Poles
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

There are various theories suggesting the end of the world. However, in recent months, a theory that Earth’s magnetic poles could flip and put the world at an end has been at the center of focus. Nevertheless, a new research paper reveals that Earth’s magnetic poles won’t flip anytime soon.

Back in January, alarming theories about Earth’s magnetic poles flipping flooded the web. Several scientists posed that the magnetic poles would flip in the next 2,000 years. The consequences of such a significant event would be disastrous, since the north and south poles of our planet are essential for the magnetic field that protects our planet from effects from space such as UV radiation coming from the Sun.

According to NASA’s statement, Earth is currently at the middle of a 20-million-year pattern. That pattern includes a magnetic pole reversal that occurs every 200,000 to 300,000 years. Experts are worried about the reversal because the magnetic field surrounding Earth has changed and weakened throughout the last two centuries. Located within the magnetic field of Earth, there is an area known as the South Atlantic Anomaly. This area is located around Chile, and it worries some people that it could cause a disaster. However, Earth’s magnetic poles won’t flip quite yet.

Researchers working on this case published a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on April 30. The study looks at the theory and reveals that Earth’s magnetic poles won’t flip anytime soon. A team of researchers from around the globe, including those from the University of Liverpool worked on this study.

The team observed and tracked the geomagnetic field on Earth using two other fields that occurred between 46,000 and 49,000 years ago. Even though they found similarities with those older fields, the poles didn’t flip. The team also discovered that the current geomagnetic field doesn’t mirror previous disruptions. In fact, the poles in the past just wobbled.

“By studying the two most recent excursion events, we show that neither bear resemblance to current changes in the geomagnetic field and therefore it is probably unlikely that such an event is about to happen,” Richard Holme, professor of geomagnetism at the University of Liverpool said in a statement on Phys.org. “Our research suggests instead that the current weakened field will recover without such an extreme event, and therefore is unlikely to reverse.”

According to the statement, the last time this event, which is also called geomagnetic reversal, occurred was about 780,000 years ago. Nevertheless, geomagnetic excursions in which the field shows the behavior of reversing but recovers to its original state, happened more recently.

Undoubtedly, Earth’s magnetic poles won’t reverse in the near future. However, that scenario is going to be inevitable hundreds of thousands of years from now. Such a scenario would yield catastrophic results in which animal migration and satellites would be thrown out of course. This scenario could occur even if the poles were just wobbling. Also, compasses would stop working as well.

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