The kind of massive tsunami in the movie 2012 would probably only be induced by a physical pole shift rather than a magnetic one. An event of this
magnitude could possibly trigger a wave of water a mile and a half high that could circumnavigate the globe. Very little of human civilization would
be likely to survive.
The mechanism of a magnetic pole reversal is not well understood and the consequences are difficult to quantify, but they are likely to be some
significant ones, including major climatic disruption.
--Some scientists think that the poles can spontaneously migrate from one orientation to the other over the course of a few decades to a few thousand
--Others think the geodynamo at the earth's core first turns itself off spontaneously and then restarts itself with the magnetic North Pole pointing
either north or south.
--External events such as an asteroid impact are not thought to cause magnetic field reversals. The ages of impact craters do not line up with the
timing of previous reversals.
--The mainstream scientific opinion is that the current wandering of the magnetic poles does not foretell a magnetic pole shift and no such event is
likely in our immediate future.
The historical record shows, however, that magnetic pole shifts are quite frequent events over a geological time scale and it is inevitable that one
will happen sooner or later. This could be as long as a few thousand years away but it will certainly happen at some point, as it has happened many
times before. In the last 25 million years, the poles have inverted once every 250,000 years, on average. In the last million years, the inversions
have happened closer to once every 125,000 years. Estimates for the amount of time a magnetic field reversal would take to complete vary widely, from
5,000 years to a couple of months.
Magnetic Field Drops to Zero
As the magnetic field inverts, the strength of the magnetosphere would likely drop to zero. This would mean our main planetary defense against
incoming cosmic radiation would be removed. There is a theory that these periods of magnetic cancellation are responsible for jumps in evolution
because the massive increase in cosmic radiation triggers genetic mutations.
An extended period of magnetic cancellation and increased exposure to the solar wind could also result in major disruption to life and possible
species extinction. In some ways, a rapid pole reversal may be more desirable than a slower one. At least a functioning magnetosphere provides
protection from the solar wind.
The Chandler Wobble
A good indicator of the possibility of changes in the physical poles of Earth is an effect called the Chandler wobble. This is the change in the spin
of the earth on its axis. It's named after Seth Carlo Chandler, an American astronomer who first discovered the wobble back in 1891 after thirty
years of observations. The effect causes Earth's physical poles to move in an irregular circle. This wobble has a seven-year cycle. The wobble:
--Produces a very small ocean tide, the pole tide, which is the only tide not caused by bodies outside Earth.
--Has varied in amplitude since its discovery, reaching its largest size in 1910 and fluctuating noticeably from one decade to another.
--Is caused by fluctuating pressure on the bottom of the ocean, caused by temperature and salinity changes and wind-driven changes in the circulation
of the oceans, according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Independent researcher Micheal Mandeville of www.earthchanges-bulletin.com has been exhaustively analyzing trends in seismic and volcanic activity
from around the world. Using a very detailed statistical analysis, Mandeville claims to have found correlations between the position and motion of the
pole with increases and decreases in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These correlations are sufficiently consistent, he claims, to conclude that
the Chandler wobble stresses Earth's crust, which in turn creates a cycle of earthquakes and volcanic activity.
The Anomaly of the Wobble
For a six-week period beginning in November 2005, there was no discernable wobble motion in Earth. The track of the spin axis began to slow down, and
by about January 8, 2006, it ceased nearly all relative motion. Mandeville suggests that the anomaly in Earth's wobble could be a response to the
massive earthquake and the devastating tsunami of December 26, 2004.
After an initial earthquake that measured 9.3 on the Richter scale, a cluster of several thousand earthquakes followed, including dozens of
earthquakes greater than 6.0 in magnitude and at least three above 7.0. This caused substantial uplifting, down-warping, and lateral movement in the
two tectonic plates that could have ruptured their mutual junction.
The scale of this tectonic activity is by far the greatest on the planet in the last twenty years. Mandeville theorizes this could have caused warping
that pushed the Indian continental plate deep enough down into the liquid mantle of Earth to cause a measurable drag on the spin of the equator.
Another contributing factor to this anomaly may be the shifting location of the magnetic north pole, which is currently migrating toward the north
spin axis of the wobble. During the past eighty years, for unknown reasons, this rate of drift has been accelerating. The change of the wobble and the
drifting of the pole may be seen as symptoms of the early stages of a pole reversal. However, neither of these events necessarily means a complete
inversion is imminent or likely.
An extended wandering of the poles, also known as a geomagnetic excursion, remains more likely than a complete reversal. The most compelling evidence
that a complete pole reversal may be about to occur comes from Dmitriev's theory that incoming interstellar plasma is responsible for current
planetophysical changes. The poles of both Uranus and Neptune have both flipped within the last decade. If this is due to the influx of interstellar
plasma into our solar system as Dmitriev believes, our own planet is being subjected to these same conditions.
It is not necessary to insist that a pole shift must be about to occur in 2012 to conclude that Earth is entering a period of major geophysical
change. There are many contributing factors to this, including increasing cosmic radiation, climate change, and the technological impact of
On the other hand, the combination of the weakening of Earth's magnetosphere, the large increase in interstellar plasma, and the solar maximum due in
2012 may produce large-scale effects for life on Earth. Given these circumstances, the possibility of a sudden magnetic pole shift cannot be
completely discounted, but it is far from inevitable. However, most scientists think a magnetic pole shift is highly unlikely in the near future and
that it would be gradual, rather than sudden.
Carrington Event- NASA