Some scientists are saying that Earth is well past overdue for a ‘flipping’ of the north and south poles and we are currently in, what appears to be, the beginning of such a flip, writes Science Alert.
First, the good news.
Earth has a history of pole reversals that seem to occur every 200,000 to 300,000 years. The last attempt was made around 40,000 years back and failed, with the poles ‘snapping back’ into position. The last flip is said to have taken place 780,000 years ago.
Regardless of the word ‘flip’ and its association with a fast action, the actual process of pole reversal involves centuries of gradual movement of the poles.
The shifting of the poles results from a depletion of dipole energy by molten iron and nickel near the Earth’s core, which is where the magnetic field emanates from.
Scientists also state that the north magnetic pole “is especially turbulent and unpredictable” and that if the dipole weakens too much, it could unleash the poles to drift to opposite ends of the Earth.
Now the bad news.
Such a reversal would cause weaken the planet’s magnetic field, thus leaving us more susceptible to solar and cosmic radiation. This could make regions of the earth uninhabitable for long periods of times.
The increase in seeping radiation would also kill many if not all of our satellites and wreak havoc on our technological infrastructure. Science Alert writes that blackouts could last for decades.
Scientists are currently applying technology in an effort to track the position of the poles.
What do you think? Would a pole shift be cataclysmic?
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