One of the major reasons why life thrives on earth is that it is protected from some of the more harsh phenomena of space by something we can not even see. It's the magnetic field that our planet generates, and it means a lot more than telling your compass the way you face it.
A new study suggests that the poles of the planet could actually change and change much faster than previously thought. In a paper published in the Procedures of the National Academy of Sciences researchers say they have found evidence that the poles of the earth have changed rapidly, and if it should happen again, it could lead to global accidents.
The study, conducted by researchers in China, Australia and Taiwan, focuses on finding from an unexpected place: a cave. Stalagmites from an underground hole in China were found to keep a fairly accurate record of the magnetic changes that took place on Earth during a 1
The researchers believe that the data they collected showed that the Earth's magnetic field changed over just a few hundred years. This polarity flip is much faster than the researchers had guessed. Earlier estimates suggested that it would take several thousand years for the poles to change. These are bad news for technology-dependent species … which is pretty much just us.
When the poles change, the Earth's magnetic field fluctuates significantly. Researchers theorize that the power of the magnetic field can dip by as much as 90 percent, which will have an incredible impact on electronics and the power grid we rely on every day.
Today, even with the Earth's full-strength magnetic field, solar heat can pose a threat to sensitive systems. Sun rays and coronal mass drafts can freeze communication equipment and cause bad damage. If the Earth's protective field was to be weakened by 90%, scientists say we could see damage counting in thousands of dollars, not to mention a significant impact on modern life.
Enter your confidence while you still can.