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Earth's geodynamo creates a magnetic field that shields most of the habited parts of our planet from charged particles that come mostly from the sun. The field deflects the speeding particles toward Earth's Poles.
Without our planet's magnetic field, Earth would be subjected to more cosmic radiation. The increase could knock out power grids, scramble the communications systems on spacecraft, temporarily widen atmospheric ozone holes, and generate more aurora activity.
A number of Earth's creatures, including some birds, turtles, and bees, rely on Earth's magnetic field to navigate. The field is in constant flux, scientists say. But even without it, life on Earth will continue, researchers say.
"There are small fluctuations, which lead to nothing, and large ones, which we know from the geologic record are associated with reversals," said Peter Olson, a geophysicist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
But strange things are happening in both outer and inner space
The Earth's magnetic field has been decreasing. This decrease actually began 2000 years ago, but the rate of decrease suddenly became much more rapid 500 years ago. Now, in the last 20 years or so, the magnetic field has become erratic. Aeronautical maps of the world — which are used to allow airplanes to land using automatic pilot systems — have had to be revised worldwide in order for the automatic pilot systems to work.
Unexpected Shield Drop
Here is where the scientific understanding our how magnetic field is changing: What is understood today in the scientific community is that the solar wind presses against the Earth's magnetosphere almost directly above the equator where our planet's magnetic field points north. Scientists previously believed that if a bundle of solar magnetism came along, and points north, too, the two fields should reinforce one another strengthening Earth's magnetic defenses and slamming the door shut on the solar wind. In the language of space physics, a north-pointing solar magnetic field is called a "northern IMF" and it is synonymous with shields up.
The big suprise is that when a northern IMF came along, the shields went down. This is completely overturning many scientists understanding of things. As Researchers investigated the tear in the magnetic field, they discovered that twenty times more solar wind passed into the Earth's protective shield when the magnetic fields were aligned. Northern IMF events don't actually trigger geomagnetic storms, notes Raeder, but they do set the stage for storms by loading the magnetosphere with plasma. A loaded magnetosphere is primed for auroras, power outages, and other disturbances that can result when a CME (coronal mass ejection) hits.
This means the impact of sloar flares are twenty times as strong with the magnetic lines are aligned. Earth's and the sun's magnetic fields will be in sync at the solar cycle's peak, expected in 2012. This will cause an influx of solar particles. What the scientists didn’t discuss is the impact on the human bioelectrical system.