Research

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Not About To Flip, Researchers Finally Prove

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Not About To Flip, Researchers Finally Prove

It could be thousands of years before the magnetic field reverses again, the researchers believe.

Are you relieved by the news that the dreaded flipping of Earth's magnetic poles is not going to happen?

Monika Korte, co-author of the study, said: 'Based on our observations of the past 50,000 years we conclude that the South Atlantic Anomaly can not be interpreted as a sign for the beginning of a reversal of the poles.

The north and south poles of the Earth play an important role in the magnetic field, which protects the planet from space radiation.

According to researchers, between the last change of the poles of the Earth and the current weakening of its magnetic field is not observed overall relationship. During such events, the strength of the field decreases and the magnetic poles rapidly flip polarity, with reversals characterized by the pole retaining an opposite polarity, while excursions are marked by a return to the original polarity.

Yes, Earth appears "overdue" for a reversal, since they happen on average a few times per million years (with very wide error bars - The Conversation's piece noted gaps can last up to ten million years), and it hasn't happened since the Brunhes-Matuyama reversal around 780,000 ago.

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"Our research suggests instead that the current weakened field will recover without such an extreme event, and therefore is unlikely to reverse".

We have derived a model of the geomagnetic field spanning 30-50 ka, constructed to study the behavior of the two most recent excursions: the Laschamp and Mono Lake, centered at 41 and 34 ka, respectively. They found that although there were similarities back then with the older fields, the magnetic poles did not flip. "However, by studying the two most recent excursion events, we show that neither bear a resemblance to current changes in the geomagnetic field and therefore it is probably unlikely that such an event is about to happen", Richard Holme, a professor of Geomagnetism at the University of Liverpool, explained.

It is reported that about two years ago, geologists from the University of Rochester in the USA found a magnetic anomaly in South Africa from the banks of the Limpopo river.

The so-called South Atlantic Anomaly has been growing at the same time as our planet's magnetic field has been dwindling.

Even if a reversal did take place, the timescale would be so long people would have time to prepare: even the Laschamp event, which The Conversation described as a "temporary reversal", took 250 years to develop and lasted 1,000 years.

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