Earth’s magnetic field weakening ten times faster than thought

Indicates that a magnetic reversal occur hit sooner than anyone expected.

The Earth’s magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of radiation, has been weakening for several months, says

Magnetometers onboard Swarm satellites — three separate satellites placed in orbit by the European Space Agency (ESA) — show that Earth’s magnetic field is weakening at the rate of 5 percent per decade, 10 times faster than thought.

Previously, researchers had estimated that the field was weakening about 5 percent per century. This indicates that a full-fledged magnetic reversal could happen sooner than anyone thought.

Magnetic field -  Credit ESA/DTU
Red shades show areas where Earth’s magnetic field has strengthened over the past six months. Blue shades show areas that are weakening. Credit: ESA/DTU

Earth’s magnetic poles getting ready to flip

“The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is that Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager.”

“Such a flip is not instantaneous, but would take many hundred if not a few thousand years,” Floberghagen told Live Science. “They have happened many times in the past.”

If you’ve read either “Not by Fire but by Ice” or “Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps,” you know that I completely disagree with that statement. Studies at Steens Mountain, central Oregon, have shown that magnetic reversals may have occurred in as few as 30 days.

“There is no evidence that a weakened magnetic field would result in a doomsday for Earth,” the Live Science article continues. “During past polarity flips there were no mass extinctions or evidence of radiation damage. Researchers think power grids and communication systems would be most at risk.”

Again, if you’ve read either of my books, you know that I also disagree with those statements.

I maintain that magnetic reversals trigger ice ages, extinctions, evolutionary leaps (via those increased blasts of mutation-causing radiation), ocean warming (via increased underwater volcanic activity), vastly increased earthquake and volcanic activity, and other catastrophic events.

These first results from Swarm were presented at the Third Swarm Science Meeting in Denmark on 19 June 2014.

See entire article:
Thanks to Jack Hydrazine, Thomas McHart and Robert Strom for this link

By the way, the article also mentions that “scientists think fluctuations in the magnetic field could help identify where continental plates are shifting and help predict earthquakes.” That is one statement that I think/hope could be true.


3 thoughts on “Earth’s magnetic field weakening ten times faster than thought”

  1. have to admit
    of all the disasters we CAN plan for..this one would be so outta the ballpark as to what where and how bad,
    that the bug out/stay n pray/kiss the butt goodbye:-)
    options are so up in the air. as might WE be.

  2. So new data indicates the magnetic field is now weakening an order of magnitude faster than suggested by previous research. Though good to know, that is a bit unsettling and raises more questions than it answers. Reading the original at live science doesn’t help and I’m aware that some of the answers may be unknown.

    My questions:

    Was the previous research in error, and a higher, steady speed of decline was occurring then as well?

    OR, Is the previous research correct? If so, did the decline shift to a higher stable speed or is an accelerating decline in progress?

    If it shifted, what caused the shift, could it shift again, by how much, and could it reverse course?

    If an accelerating decline: Has the decline been accelerating for some time or is that a recent development? How old was the previous research, or, how long did it take the speed to increase an order of magnitude?

    I’m aware that the north magnetic pole is moving toward Siberia and that the speed of this movement has been increasing for decades. Does this decline correlate with that pole movement?

    Thoughts Anyone?

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