According to scientists’ best estimates, the Earth’s magnetic field is now weakening around 10 times faster than previously predicted, losing approximately 5% of its strength every decade. This finding indicates a magnetic pole reversal could be coming sooner rather than later.
The geomagnetic dipole has decreased by nearly 6% per century since first measured by Gauss in the 1840s. This too is 10-20 times faster than the “Ohmic” decay rate. (The process by which the passage of an electric current through a conductor releases heat). The causes of this rapid decrease in Gauss stability, is the proliferation of reverse magnetic field on the core-mantle boundary. This has occurred especially beneath the South Atlantic with the transference of heat energy in a horizontal stream of the magnetic field from high to low latitudes.
The weakening of Earth’s magnetic field has two fundamental points. First: A weakened magnetic field allows charged particle events such as galactic cosmic rays, gamma rays, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections (CME), to produce enhanced consequences to extreme weather events that include earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes etc.
Second: The second major consequence of a weakened magnetic field is its identification as the ‘precursor’ to a magnetic pole shift. It is estimated that Earth’s magnetic field reverses every few thousand years at low latitudes and every 10,000 years at high latitudes. It is believed we are far enough along the cycle that many living today will witness the bouncing back and forth of magnetic north and it swings reaching latitudes below 30°. Magnetic north can also move east and west longitudes.
Precursor First – Then Full Magnetic Flip
Individual magnetic reversal records show a remarkable degree of repeatability, including dipole collapse, rapid polarity change, and fast dipole intensity recovery stages. This is to say historical magnetic field reversals indicate that during the period of Earth’s magnetic field reduction, it will be in flux for several years before a full magnetic flip will incur. At this stage of magnetic minimization close to zero point, the magnetic field may have multiple swings north and south across the equator, additionally with large excursions of geomagnetic polar flux in east and west longitudes.
The final stage of reversal is when the dipole intensity partially recovers. An example of this phenomena would be magnetic north suddenly dropping down to at or below the equator, then rapidly snapping back to say and briefly exceeds the surface non-dipole intensity, which in turn is followed by a very rapid dipole intensity collapse, final reversal, and recovery of the dipole intensity in the new polarity position. The final latitudes and longitude positions are unknown. However, historical records indicate north will be south – and south will be north – but at what degrees North-South-East-West is anyone’s guess.
When the poles flip, having a compass that points South instead of North does not seem like too big of a deal to humans, but there is a question of what will happen other animals. Certain migratory animals like sea turtles and birds use the magnetic field in order to orient themselves. A reversal of the poles could interfere with their ability to do so.
Another concern about the reversal is that the weakening of the magnetic field, which precedes the flipping event, will mean that it will not be able to adequately shield us from the Sun’s radiation. Although there is no direct evidence in the fossil record of a “mass” extinction correlating with a field reversal or an influx of radiation, records show there have been selective extinctions. Additionally, there is concern of what could happen to power grids, satellites and effects on weather patterns.
The question is not ‘will there be a magnetic pole reversal’, but at what phase are we currently in? I would suggest we are in the last phases. There are many of you who will be able to witness a magnetic reversal firsthand, what transpires over the next 50 to 60 years. Unfortunately, I will not be one of them but my kids will be; and they have been instructed to take good notes and photos to pass on to their kids.