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Earth's poles long overdue for reversal
SYDNEY: A reversal of the Earth's magnetic poles could happen sooner than we think, according to Dutch scientists who report that the planet's magnetic field is becoming gradually less stable.
A reversal could affect everything from navigation and communications equipment to the composition of the atmosphere, say experts.
The report, published today in the U.K. journal Nature Geoscience, found that reversals have been far more common in the last 200 million years than they were deep in the planet's history.
"The Earth's magnetic field is important for shielding the atmosphere, and us, from damage caused by the solar wind," explained Biggin. "It's also used by us and other species for navigation". An increase in solar wind would disrupt communications equipment and power grids.
Current records suggest that we are long overdue for our next reversal, he said. "On average, there is a reversal around every 400,000 years, but this varies a lot." The geological record suggests that the last reversal was around 800,000 years ago.
This catastrophe will not only result in the massive destruction of life on earth, but also its continued existence, however incomprehensible this may sound. Let me explain this. The magnetic field of the earth is not an accident of natural science. Its primary task is to protect us against cosmic and solar radiation. Without this field, life is practically impossible and in a short time, life on our planet would be extinguished. An all-burning, deadly radioactive radiation would torment the earth's surface.
So here we are talking about an incompatible duality: despite the fact that a huge amount of people, animals and plants will die, life will continue to exist, because the exhausted battery of the earth will be reloaded by the enormous solar storm. During thousands of years the magnetic field of the earth can therefore remain stable, protecting the flora and fauna against the damaging radiation. While doing this job, the inner battery of the earth will run out again and another cycle of destruction followed by creation and mutation will start anew.