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The Earth’s magnetic field, generated deep within the planet, is a shield against particle radiation from space. In the South Atlantic this shield is much weaker than elsewhere across the globe and radiation from space therefore penetrates deeper into the atmosphere. This region is known as the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) and the radiation in the SAA is a known hazard to satellites, spacecraft and high-altitude aircraft
The South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) is known to be growing in extent and spreading westwards from South Africa, as the Earth’s internal magnetic field rapidly weakens in this region. This may be early evidence of a forthcoming reversal in the direction of the Earth’s internal magnetic field. We do not know in detail precisely what occurs during such reversals, including the changes observed in the magnetic field and the time a reversal takes to complete. However these factors are important in knowing where the radiation risk may be increased and how the atmosphere might respond
Originally posted by cosmicpixie
reply to post by adept2u
It's been talked about for years in scientific circles and seems to be building up a bit now doesn't it. Found a table describing the best and worse case scenarios when the poles flip :
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