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19 June 2014
The first set of high-resolution results from ESA’s three-satellite Swarm constellation reveals the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects our planet.
Launched in November 2013, Swarm is providing unprecedented insights into the complex workings of Earth’s magnetic field, which safeguards us from the bombarding cosmic radiation and charged particles.
June 2014 magnetic field
Measurements made over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field’s weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere.
But in other areas, such as the southern Indian Ocean, the magnetic field has strengthened since January.
The latest measurements also confirm the movement of magnetic North towards Siberia.
These changes are based on the magnetic signals stemming from Earth’s core. Over the coming months, scientists will analyse the data to unravel the magnetic contributions from other sources, namely the mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere.
This will provide new insight into many natural processes, from those occurring deep inside our planet to space weather triggered by solar activity. In turn, this information will yield a better understanding of why the magnetic field is weakening.
The European Space Agency's Swarm mission aims to map changes to magnetosphere – and, after a year in orbit, it's now provided a glimpse into its dynamics. The image highlights the new crust (bottom) and core (centre) magnetic field models from Swarm. These preliminary results are based only on the first year of data
The layers of Earth's upper atmosphere, the ionosphere, and magnetosphere, form a closely-paired, interacting system. Swarm is contributing to a better understanding of near-Earth electric current systems and processes as shown in this graphic
Earth's protective shield is slowly weakening, allowing harmful solar winds to penetrate the planet's atmosphere.
Known as the magnetosphere, this shield extends thousands of miles into space and affects everything from global communication to weather patterns.
The European Space Agency's Swarm mission aims to map changes to magnetosphere – and, after a year in orbit, it's now provided a glimpse into its dynamics.
The Swarm constellation also makes it much easier to monitor the changes that occur in the main field produced in the Earth's core, which protects us from harmful charged cosmic particles.
'Our magnetic field is largely generated by Earth's outer core,' said Gauthier Hulot, one of the lead proposers of the Swarm mission.
'The constellation provides detail on the way the field is changing and thereby weakening our protective shield.'
'This is what will ultimately make it possible to predict the way this field will evolve over the next decades.'
The Swarm satellites will be in orbit for another three years at least.
These results will be presented at the 26th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics on 22 June to 2 July in Prague, Czech Republic.
The magnetosphere protects the Earth from solar radiation.
If it weakens dramatically, radiation at ground level would increase with some estimates suggesting that overall exposure to cosmic radiation would double causing more deaths from cancer.
The Electric grid collapse from severe solar storms is a major risk.
As the magnetic field continues to weaken, scientists are highlighting the importance off-the grid energy systems using renewable energy sources to protect the Earth against a black out.
'The very highly charged particles can have a deleterious effect on the satellites and astronauts,' added Dr Mona Kessel, a Magnetosphere discipline scientist at Nasa.
The Earth's climate could also change. A recent Danish study has found that the earth's weather has been significantly affected by the planet's magnetic field.
They claimed that fluctuations in the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere directly alter the amount of cloud covering the planet.
A weakened magnetosphere will also mean that more aurora will be seen on Earth as solar winds hit the atmosphere.
Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk... d-fading.html#ixzz3dq4KDOrR
originally posted by: soulpowertothendegree
a reply to: theabsolutetruth
I think this has more to do with the "global warming issue" than they care to admit.
SEVERE GEOMAGNETIC STORM IN PROGRESS: A severe G4-class geomagnetic storm is in progress on June 22nd. This follows a series of rapid-fire CME strikes to Earth's magnetic field during the past 24 hours. Magnetic fields in the wake of the latest CME are strongly coupled to Earth's own magnetic field. This is a condition that could sustain the geomagnetic storm for many hours to come. High- and mid-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras tonight, especially during the hours around local midnight.
originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
a reply to: eisegesis
I guess the influence of dark matter is possible. Perhaps there is research on that somewhere.
originally posted by: markosity1973
All the seemingly unaccounted for asteroids that keep skimming by are one such example of how things have changed since 2012.
Records of major geologic events of the past ∼260 Myr including: biologic extinction events, ocean-anoxic and black-shale events, major changes in sea level, major evaporite (salt) deposits, continental flood-basalt eruptions, first-order discontinuities in sea-floor spreading, and major mountain building events, have been aggregated and analyzed with moving-window and spectral techniques that facilitate recognition of clustering and possible cyclieity. Significant clustering of events suggests a model in which changes in rates and directions of sea-floor spreading (“ridge jumps”) are associated with episodic rifting, volcanism, mountain building, global sea level and changes in the composition of the earth's atmosphere via the carbon cycle. Variation in atmospheric CO2 affects global climate, ocean circulation and marine productivity. The geologic data formally show a statistically significant underlying periodicity of 26.6 Myr for the Mesozoic and Cenozoic (the exact period differs with minor changes in geologic dating). Phase information suggests that the most recent maximum of the cycle occurred within the last 9 Myr, and may be close to the present time. The quasi-regular pulses of activity might be related to internal earth processes. However, a similar periodicity in impact craters and in galactic dynamics, and a one-to-one correlation among mass extinctions, large impact events, and flood-basalt volcanism, indicate an extraterrestrial pacemaker.