The poles are shifted, the magnetic field is reversed, and this will be very unpleasant

The poles are shifted, the magnetic field is reversed, and this will be very unpleasant
The poles are shifted, the magnetic field is reversed, and this will be very unpleasant
Anonim

The shield that protects the Earth from solar radiation is under attack from within. We cannot prevent this, but we must prepare.

The Earth's magnetic field flips, what happens when the North and South poles of the Earth flip?

One day in 1905, the French geophysicist Bernard Bruns brought several stones to his laboratory, which he dug up on the road near the village of Pont-Farin.

When he analyzed their magnetic properties, he was amazed at what they showed: millions of years ago, the Earth's magnetic poles were on opposite sides of the planet. North was South and South was North. This discovery spoke of planetary anarchy. Scientists could not explain this.

Today we know that the poles have changed their positions hundreds of times, most recently 780,000 years ago.

Sometimes the poles try to change places, but then fall back into place, which is called an excursion. The last time it was about 40,000 years ago.

We also know that the next time they roll over, the consequences for the electrical and electronic infrastructure that govern modern civilization will be dire. The question is when will this happen.

by the way: there is evidence that everything will not end only with electronics failures and destruction of infrastructure, it is believed that after the reversal of the poles, people will lose their memory and a long period of amnesia will come. Experts advise leaving yourself reminders - notes that need to be put in a prominent place in which to write who you are, what happened and what actions you should or, on the contrary, should not take.

In the past few decades, geophysicists have tried to answer this question with satellite imagery and mathematics. They figured out how to look deep inside the Earth, to the edge of a molten metal core, where a magnetic field is constantly generated. It turns out that the dipole-ordered bipolar magnetic field that our compasses respond to is being attacked from within.

The latest satellite data from the European Space Agency's Swarm trio, which began reporting in 2014, shows a battle raging on the edge of the core. Like factions planning a coup, swirling pools of molten iron and nickel gain strength and suck energy from the dipole.

The magnetic N Pole is on the run, which is a sign of increased turbulence and unpredictability. The Cabal clan in the Southern Hemisphere has already gained the upper hand over about a fifth of the earth's surface. A revolution is brewing.

If these magnetic blocks gain sufficient strength and weaken the dipole further, they will cause the N and S poles to swap positions as they seek to regain their dominance.

Scientists cannot say for sure what is happening now - the dipole could repel the invasion of outsiders. But they can say that the phenomenon is intensifying and that they cannot rule out the possibility that a reversal is beginning.

Image

It's time to wake up from danger and start preparing. Or maybe this is happening now - a global preparation for the reversal of the poles?

The Earth's magnetic field protects our planet from dangerous solar and cosmic rays, like a giant shield. As the poles change places (or try to do so), this shield weakens; scientists have calculated that he can weaken up to one-tenth of his normal strength.

The shield can be weakened for centuries, while the poles move, allowing destructive radiation to approach the planet's surface for the entire time. Already, changes within the Earth have weakened the field over the South Atlantic so much that satellites exposed to the resulting radiation experience a memory failure.

This radiation has not yet reached the surface. But at some point, when the magnetic field decreases enough, it could be a different story.

Daniel Baker, director of the University of Colorado Boulder's Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics, and one of the world's experts on how cosmic radiation affects the Earth, fears that some parts of the planet will become uninhabitable after the reversal of the poles.

Dangers: destructive streams of particles from the sun, galactic cosmic rays and enhanced ultraviolet rays, radiation damage to the ozone layer are some of the invisible forces that can harm or kill living things.

How bad can that be?

Scientists have never made a connection between previous pole reversals and disasters such as mass extinctions. But today's world is not the world 780,000 years ago when the poles last swapped places, or even 40,000 years ago when they tried to do so.

Today, almost 7.6 billion people live on Earth, which is twice as many as in 1970. By our actions, we have radically changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and ocean, damaging the life support system of the planet. Humans have built huge cities, industries and road networks, cutting off access to safer living spaces for many other creatures. We have pushed perhaps a third of all known species towards extinction and endangered the habitats of many others. Add cosmic and ultraviolet light to this mixture, and the consequences for life on earth can be devastating.

And these dangers are not only biological. The huge cyber-electric cocoon, which has become the central data processing system of modern civilization, is in grave danger.

Particles of solar energy can burst through the sensitive miniature electronics of the growing number of satellites orbiting the Earth, severely damaging them. The satellite timing systems that run the electrical grids are likely to fail. Network transformers can be burned in droves. Due to the fact that the grids are so closely connected to each other, a wave of destruction will sweep across the globe, causing a series of blackouts (domino effect) that can last for decades.

But these dangers are rarely considered by those whose job it is to protect the electronic pulse of civilization. More satellites are being launched into orbit with heavily miniaturized - and therefore more vulnerable - electronics. The electrical grid is becoming more interconnected every day, despite the great risks from solar storms.

There will be no appliances, no light without electricity. No computers. No mobile phones. Even flushing a toilet or filling a car's gas tank would be impossible. And that's just for the beginning.

Image

One of the best ways to protect satellites and networks from space weather is to predict exactly where the most destructive force will hit. Operators can temporarily turn off the satellite or turn off part of the network.

But progress in learning how to track harmful space weather has not kept pace with the exponential growth of technology that could be damaged by it. And private satellite operators do not collect or share information about how their electronics withstand cosmic radiation, which can help everyone protect their equipment.

We recklessly built the critical infrastructure of our civilization at a time when the planet's magnetic field was relatively strong, disregarding the field's tendency to anarchy.

This field is not only restless and uncontrollable, but at the moment it is also unpredictable. It will soon roll over anyway, no matter what we do. Our task is to figure out how to make it less painful for our civilization …

Popular by topic