Magnetic earth, and solar, polar shifts and reversals for 2012
Rumors are going around that a polar reversal of the earth will occur in 2012, and the earth will be destroyed. Actually, a polar reversal for the earth is not known, although the magnetic field is in a constant state of change, and the magnetic pole is moving. A polar reversal for the sun is known, and will occur in 2012, at the peak of the current solar cycle 24.
Earth’s Inconstant Magnetic Field
Our planet’s magnetic field is in a constant state of change. Scientists have long known that the magnetic pole moves. James Ross located the pole for the first time in 1831. In 1904, Roald Amundsen found the pole again and discovered that it had moved–at least 50 km since the days of Ross.
The pole kept going during the 20th century, north at an average speed of 10 km per year, lately accelerating “to 40 km per year. At this rate it will exit North America and reach Siberia in a few decades. Compass needles in Africa, for instance, are drifting about 1 degree per decade. And globally the magnetic field has weakened 10% since the 19th century.
Sometimes the field completely flips. The north and the south poles swap places. Such reversals, recorded in the magnetism of ancient rocks, are unpredictable. They come at irregular intervals averaging about 300,000 years; the last one was 780,000 years ago. Are we overdue for another? No one knows.
Above: Magnetic stripes around mid-ocean ridges reveal the history of Earth’s magnetic field for millions of years. The study of Earth’s past magnetism is called paleomagnetism. According to NASA, the ongoing 10% decline doesn’t mean that a reversal is imminent.
The center of the Earth is where the magnetic field is produced. At the heart of our planet lies a solid iron ball, about as hot as the surface of the sun. This is the “the inner core.” The inner core is 70% as wide as the moon. It spins at its own rate, as much as 0.2o of longitude per year faster than the Earth above it, and it has its own ocean: a very deep layer of liquid iron known as “the outer core.”
Above: a schematic diagram of Earth’s interior. The outer core is the source of the geomagnetic field. Earth’s magnetic field comes from this ocean of iron, which is an electrically conducting fluid in constant motion.
Reversals take a few thousand years to complete, and during that time–contrary to popular belief–the magnetic field does not vanish. It just gets more complicated. Magnetic lines of force near Earth’s surface become twisted and tangled, and magnetic poles pop up in unaccustomed places. But it’s still a planetary magnetic field, and it still protects us from space radiation and solar storms.
Above: Supercomputer models of Earth’s magnetic field. On the left is a normal dipolar magnetic field, typical of the long years between polarity reversals. On the right is the sort of complicated magnetic field Earth has during the upheaval of a reversal. [More]
NASA Details Earthquake Effects on the Earth
NASA scientists using data from the Indonesian earthquake calculated it affected Earth’s rotation, decreased the length of day, slightly changed the planet’s shape, and shifted the North Pole by centimeters. The earthquake that created the huge tsunami also changed the Earth’s rotation. Dr. Benjamin Fong Chao, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. and Dr. Richard Gross of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. said all earthquakes have some affect on Earth’s rotation. It’s just they are usually barely noticeable. “Any worldly event that involves the movement of mass affects the Earth’s rotation, from seasonal weather down to driving a car,” Chao said. They also found the earthquake decreased the length of day by 2.68 microseconds. The quake also affected the Earth’s shape. They found Earth’s oblateness (flattening on the top and bulging at the equator) decreased by a small amount. It decreased about one part in 10 billion, continuing the trend of earthquakes making Earth less oblate. -
Earth’s Magnetic Field Reversal
Earth’s magnetic field reverses every few thousand years at low latitudes and every 10,000 years at high latitudes.
Possible energy ramifications of diminishing magnetic field need to be explored. For example, how long will it linger at zero before reversing? Seeing the powerful earthquakes such as the December 26th, 2004 event that triggered the tsunami disaster, people are looking for possible causes for the apparent instability of earth’s crust.
The weakening of earth’s magnetism is one of the factors believed to be predictive of a pole reversal. That magnetic field reversals have occurred in the past is confirmed in the geological record. What is unclear is how precisely the transition occurs, and what happens to life forms extant at the time of this pole flip.
Does the magnetic field drop to zero gauss? Dire predictions follow upon the heels of this theory. Electronic devices would all be at risk: there may be damage to, or complete loss of, all near-earth-orbiting satellites and possibly the space station itself. Effects on life forms could range from migrating birds losing their sense of direction to immune system decline and even widespread die-off from radiation-induced cancers.
Losing its protective magnetic envelope, the atmosphere would expand and become thinner, possibly leading to altitude sickness near sea level. No longer filtered out, deadly cosmic rays would kill most if, not all, living creatures on the surface. Only those living in deep caves would be safe. This scenario has prompted some to build underground bunkers in hopes of surviving.
Countering this frightening vision, NASA predicts that, rather than declining to zero gauss, the magnetic field would become disordered. Thus we might for short time have more than one north and south pole on the planet. This official scientific stance says that the magnetosphere which shields us from cosmic radiation would not entirely disappear either
Thus, while communications would be erratic and perhaps at times completely inactivated, humans would find ways to survive. However, there are dissenters in the ranks, pointing to the vast South Atlantic magnetic anomaly and radiation damage to satellites over that region attributed to weakening of the protective magnetosphere. -
The Solar Magnetic field and solar cycle 24
The sun reverses its magnetic field like clockwork every eleven years at the peak of the sunspot cycle. The next solar flip is due in 2012. South-pointing magnetic flux moves from sunspots, which are intense magnetic loops near the equator of the sun, along “meridional flows” to the north magnetic pole, and vice versa. As the oppositely-directed charge accumulates at the poles the field declines, until eventually the reverse charge predominates. -
Scientists point out that the heliosphere does not wink out of existence during this reversal. The sunspots are intense magnetic knots, much stronger than the star’s main field, which continue to spiral outward even when the main dipole field vanishes briefly.
The Sun Does a Flip
The Sun’s magnetic poles will remain as they are now, with the north magnetic pole pointing through the Sun’s southern hemisphere, until the year 2012 when they will reverse again. This transition happens, as far as we know, at the peak of every 11-year sunspot cycle — like clockwork.
Earth’s magnetic field also flips, but with less regularity. Consecutive reversals are spaced 5 thousand years to 50 million years apart. The last reversal happened 740,000 years ago. Some researchers think our planet is overdue for another one, but nobody knows exactly when the next reversal might occur.
Although solar and terrestrial magnetic fields behave differently, they do have something in common: their shape. During solar minimum the Sun’s field, like Earth’s, resembles that of an iron bar magnet, with great closed loops near the equator and open field lines near the poles. Scientists call such a field a “dipole.” The Sun’s dipolar field is about as strong as a refrigerator magnet, or 50 gauss (a unit of magnetic intensity). Earth’s magnetic field is 100 times weaker.
The earth will be more affected by the sun in 2012, than by its own magnetic pole shift.
Sunspots are places where intense magnetic loops — hundreds of times stronger than the ambient dipole field — poke through the photosphere.
Meridional flows on the Sun’s surface carry magnetic fields from mid-latitude sunspots to the Sun’s poles. The poles end up flipping because these flows transport south-pointing magnetic flux to the north magnetic pole, and north-pointing flux to the south magnetic pole.
The dipole field steadily weakens as oppositely-directed flux accumulates at the Sun’s poles until, at the height of solar maximum, the magnetic poles change polarity and begin to grow in a new direction.
Changes in the Sun’s magnetic field are carried outward through the heliosphere by the solar wind. It takes about a year for disturbances to propagate all the way from the Sun to the outer bounds of the heliosphere.
To read about solar eclipses connected to end time events, Click here for more.
To read about solar cycle 24 and the end times, Click here for more.
To read about earthquakes in the end times Click here for more.
To read about wheat shortage (famine) in the end times Click here for more.
To read about star signs in the end times.Click here for more.