A handful of recent studies suggested that the Earth’s magnetic poles were rapidly shifting, raising concerns that our planet might have to deal with them reversing – something that could potentially lead to a catastrophe.
It looks like the fears aroused by the potential flipping of Earth’s magnetic poles appear to be exaggerated, with a new study suggesting that our planet is safe from a catastrophe… as of now.
According to researchers from Lund University in Sweden, Earth “is not heading towards a polarity reversal”, despite recent concerns sparked by the so-called South Atlantic Anomaly. This anomaly is a soft spot in the Earth’s magnetic field that stretches between South America and southwest Africa.
“Based on similarities with the recreated anomalies, we predict that the South Atlantic Anomaly will probably disappear within the next 300 years”, geologist Andreas Nilsson from Lund University said.
Nilsson went on to suggest that the anomaly is nothing short of a “recurring phenomena linked to corresponding variations in the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field”.
In order to study the history of Earth’s magnetic anomalies, scientists analysed burnt archaeological artefacts, volcanic samples and sediment drill cores, as they all carry information about our planet’s magnetic field and the changes it has undergone.
“We have developed a new modeling technique that connects these indirect observations from different time periods and locations into one global reconstruction of the magnetic field over the past 9,000 years”, Nilsson explained.
And it looks like thousands of years of such changes tell us that Earth is currently not heading to a reversal of its magnetic poles – a potentially tumultuous development that could affect a whole range of elements, from animals’ natural ability to navigate to humanity’s technological advances such as TV broadcasting and communications.