Earth’s magnetic poles are unlikely to flip

Study: Earth's magnetic poles are unlikely to flip

Credit score: ESA/ATG medialab

The emergence of a mysterious area within the South Atlantic Ocean the place the energy of the geomagnetic subject is quickly declining, has led to hypothesis that the Earth is heading towards a magnetic polarity reversal. Nonetheless, a brand new examine that mixes proof stretching again 9,000 years, means that the present adjustments will not be distinctive, and a reversal will not be within the playing cards in spite of everything. The examine was revealed in PNAS.

The Earth’s magnetic subject acts as an invisible defend towards the life-threatening surroundings in area, and the photo voltaic wind that may sweep throughout the ambiance. Nonetheless, the magnetic subject is unstable, and polar reversals happen at irregular intervals at a price of each 200,000 years. Which means the magnetic north and south poles swap locations.

Over the previous 180 years, the energy of the Earth’s magnetic subject has decreased by about 10 p.c. On the identical time, the realm with the extension Weak magnetic subject It grows within the South Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South America. This area, the place satellites have been disrupted a number of occasions as a result of publicity to extremely charged particles from the solar, is named the South Atlantic Anomaly. These developments have led to hypothesis that we could also be heading towards a polarity reversal. Nonetheless, the brand new examine means that this will not be the case

“We’ve got mapped adjustments within the Earth’s magnetic subject over the previous 9,000 years, and it’s probably that anomalies akin to these within the South Atlantic are recurring phenomena related to corresponding adjustments within the energy of the Earth’s magnetic subject,” says Andreas Nilsson, a geologist at Lund. College.

The outcomes are primarily based on burn analyzes antiquesand volcanic samples and sediment pits cores, all of which carry details about Earth’s magnetic subject. These embrace clay pots which have been heated to greater than 580°C, lava that has solidified, and sediments which have been deposited in lakes or into the ocean. Objects act as time capsules, carrying details about the magnetic subject into the previous. Utilizing delicate devices, the researchers had been in a position to measure this magnetism and recreate the course and energy of the magnetic subject at particular locations and occasions.

“We’ve got developed a brand new modeling approach that hyperlinks these oblique observations from completely different time intervals and places right into a single world reconstruction of the magnetic subject over the previous 9,000 years,” says Andreas Nilsson.

By finding out how the magnetic subject adjustments, researchers can be taught extra concerning the elementary processes within the Earth’s core that generate this subject. The brand new mannequin can be used to this point each archaeological and geological data, by evaluating measured and modeled variations in magnetic subject. Reassuringly, it led them to a conclusion relating to hypothesis about an impending polarity reversal:

Andreas Nilsson concludes: “Primarily based on similarities with recreated anomalies, we predict that the South Atlantic anomaly will probably disappear inside the subsequent 300 years, and that the Earth shouldn’t be heading towards a polarity reversal.”


A examine reveals unusual magnetic habits 8-11 million years in the past


extra info:
Andreas Nilsson et al, Recurring geomagnetic subject anomalies make clear the longer term evolution of the South Atlantic anomaly, Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences (2022). doi:10.1073/pnas.2200749119

Introduction of
Lund College


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