National Geographic’s Lame Attempt at Dissing Geomagnetic Reversals

National Geographic’s Lame Attempt at Dissing Geomagnetic Reversals

The National Geographic apparently felt compelled to attack a recent online warning about geomagnetic reversals.

In a piece entitled “No, We’re Not All Doomed by Earth’s Magnetic Field Flip,” journalist Nadia Drake valiantly tries to defend the magazine’s stance. She begins by pooh-poohing the idea of a “geomagnetic apocalypse” or the notion that “life on Earth would cease to exist as we know it.”

The magnetosphere, a large area around the Earth produced by the planet’s magnetic field, deflects the charged particles in the solar wind.

Then, after laughing at the very idea, she concedes that “our planet’s magnetic field helps shield us from damaging solar and cosmic radiation,” and that “a protracted flip means Earth might be slightly less protected from harmful space rays for longer than we would like.”

“If the magnetic field gets substantially weaker and stays that way for an appreciable amount of time,” Drake continues, “everything on the planet will be exposed to higher levels of radiation, which over time could produce an increase in diseases like cancer, as well as harm delicate spacecraft and power grids on Earth.

Hmmm. Increased cancer rates and a downed power grid. That may not spell doom and gloom to Drake, but it does sound rather gloomy to me.

In an attempt to downplay the risk even more, Drake assures us that “Lots of doomsday prophets have tried to equate geomagnetic flips with mass extinctions, but the data just aren’t there.”

The data isn’t there?

What about the Gothenburg magnetic excursion of 12,000 years ago?

As I point out in Not by Fire but by Ice, the Gothenburg magnetic excursion coincided with a short-term period of ice and snow known as the Younger Dryas. The Gothenburg magnetic excursion correlates with the extinction of 40 percent of the large animal species on our planet, including the mammoth, the mastodon, the sabre-toothed cat, the short-faced bear, the glyptodont, the great dire wolf, and many others. How can anyone say the data isn’t there?

What about the Mono Lake magnetic excursion of 23,000 years ago, which coincided with an extinction and catastrophic glaciation?

What about the Lake Mungo (Australia) magnetic excursion of 33,500 years ago, which coincided with an extinction, and when rapid glaciation immediately followed a period of warmth?

What about the Blake magnetic reversal of 115,000 years ago at the end-Eemian. It also coincided with a period of rapid glaciation following a period of warmth? (The Eemian Period was even warmer than today.)

What about Biwa I, a reversal about 195,000 years ago? Or Biwa II, a reversal about 286,000 years ago? Or Biwa III, about 390,000 years ago?

Each of those magnetic reversals (or excursions, if you prefer) coincided with rapid ice build up and glaciation.

And when it comes to the “higher levels of radiation” that Drake alludes to, scientists have shown that accumulation rates of radioactive beryllium-10 sometimes double, even triple, at geomagnetic reversals. How can anyone say the data isn’t there?

One last thing: Drake ever so cleverly sneaks in the statement that “climate change seems to be shifting Earth’s geographic poles.”

Really? Climate change is shifting the geographic poles? Who could ever take National Geographic’s views on climate change seriously after a statement such as that?

Note: I think magnetic reversals also drive evolution, but that’s another story.

See National Geographic article:

Thanks to Rosco Mac for this link

13 thoughts on “National Geographic’s Lame Attempt at Dissing Geomagnetic Reversals”

  1. My question is why did NG decide they needed to address the issue of magnetic reversals at all? I mean if it’s nothing more than cancer causing and a downing of the power grid then why bother addressing it? Frankly, I have lost all respect for NG and that came about a few months ago when researchers announced they’d found the remains of an Australopithecus in Europe! Literally, about 2 hours after the announcement NG was leading the charge to discredit the claim ( a coverup in the making no less). Now they say the find was from an unknown European ape! It would have been the first of this species found outside of Africa and totally discredited their Out of Africa theory. So my point is the NG is nothing more than a political propaganda machine. They used to be good but are no more. In this case of magnetic reversals they totally ignore ALL evidence which is astounding. An climate change (global warming) is causing a polar shift? LOL seriously? Does she realize how ignorant she sounds?

  2. :-0 i also noted the sly effeort to add climate change to it
    pathetic really.
    the present incoming rad levels are higher than I’d want to be exposed to regularly as pilots and air crew surely are already.
    spaceweather.coms got charts for those who are interested
    seeing as most planes use GPS and fly by wire tech
    id also not be happy to be IN one when things do start surging and swirling around. satellites may be able to BE hardened later..but the ones up there now..not.
    if you have valuable or seriously useful info stuff you need in times of crisis etc
    then hard copy it all and save it safely,
    things like auto repair manuals and other survival aids that may well go offline for?? who knows

  3. This might be slightly off topic, but I frequently wonder what happens to birds and other critters that have internal compasses for migrating. Apparently many of them are queued on the earth’s magnetic fields.

    I still see migrating birds, migrating in the correct direction, so migrating critters weren’t all wiped out in the last switch – migrating north instead of south in winter.

    • ah…but what we see and know as correct…might not have been prior
      and a lot of species dropped off the live list in earlier times
      pre large human pop and any infernal combustion either;-)
      the whale and other beachings as well as birdfalls may well be that influence as well as storms or other origins
      no one really knows

  4. Earth is Flat and has only one pole… That is fact.
    You guys believe a lot of BS fear porn related to Earth and “space”.

    • Hi Durward,
      The only pole your interested in is the one your perched on.
      You should feed that turtle yet, its a bit much that your so sloth like that you get treed by a carnivouros turtle.

  5. The data marking the complete polarity reset of the Sun’s energy output system is there. We already see a limited energy reset of the Sun during the Solar Minimum between cycles when the sun spot at the equator disappear towards then end of the cycle, leaving a quiet sun, and the start of the next cycle with the spots appearing banded in the high latitudes of the solar face.
    With a GSM the energy reset is much more marked and lasting two complete cycles. With a complete polarity reset, perhaps the effect may well be far more serious for TSI as the Sun reduces its energy output markedly in term of heat and other forms of energy but hopefully remain the same with visible light output. The key is the time for the Polarity change to propagate through the Sun’s energy system.
    The heat output reducing would affect the overturning current significantly with far more cold water than normal being injected into the cold deep returning currents from the Polar Regions.
    The reduction of higher energy bands such as UV and EUV would continue to have serious implications for the path and power of the world’s jet stream, as it would for the Solar wind strength.
    Given that the turn round for 1 Litre of water to make the return trip from a surface warm patch in the Pacific, travel to the Arctic, and return back to a similar surface position is 1 thousand years, such a change would affect the major glaciations by cooling the major water bodies.
    The three Younger Dryas periods are much shorter in period and much more affected by direct disturbances to the overturning current, for example a major geological event on the South East quadrant of the ring of fire, or more likely fresh water injection from one of the many Ice dammed fresh water inland seas in North America into the Labrador strait and Central Europe into the Black Sea and Mediterranean.

  6. While I’m hopeful that a small scale geomagnetic excursion will not do much, the big ones clearly do something.

    There will also be a dramatic impact on navigation (and not just from N and S swapping). During excursions and reversals there’s a phase where the poles multiply. The field becomes chaotic and we gets lots of N and S spots popping up.

    That is thought to be happening near Bermuda occasionally as there is a slight anomaly there, and is likely the cause of sporadic confused compasses. It will get worse than that, and everywhere, during a full on event.

  7. marque2 re: migrating birds. Birds have incredible memories and when migrating remember thousands of landmarks. They use their memory skills to locate trusted food supplies in winter, and trusted nesting sites in spring. Swallows fly from S Africa to Britain and find the same barn they nested in the previous year; even the first year youngsters can find it when the parents don’t return. So although pigeon fanciers love the idea that their birds have some magnetic superpower, I think you’ll find it’s a brilliant memory, of the small, grey and squidgy kind that does all the work. Dogs do the same long distance trick remembering thousands of smells and tagging them to landmarks. A few drops of their personal urine seals the deal.

    • the memory idea falls in a hole when you realise many fledglings leave after parent theyve never been there at all
      but still end up in the right place
      figure that one out

  8. As for the effect of any major magnetic anomaly on the planet, well, you can’t have moving electric charge without there being a closely associated magnetic field, and vice versa. So if the planets field swings to an opposite polarity, the moving charge in the planets mantle will go bananas. If the field strength weakens considerably, and quickly, then what will deflect the solar wind? What will protect us from solar flares? If gravity is an innate property of electromagnetic particles (proton/neutron/electron=matter), then if the field of the planet changes rapidly, what happens to the polarity of the atomic particles? Will gravity weaken as the change occurs and if so by how much? Ancient stories of the Rapture could be based on witnesses accounts and why so many survivors lived in caves. If the same thing occured on the Moon this could explain why very large, very old craters are now filled with dust. OK I’m going back in my box now. Give me a shout when it’s safe to come out please.

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