Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Earth’s magnetic field ‘could flip in the space of 100 years’, scientists warn

[Metro] Scientists predict that the Earth’s magnetic field can flip far faster than previously thought – unleashing a force which Mayan apocalypse believers thought might destroy our planet in 2012.
Berkeley scientists say that the Earth’s magnetic field can weaken and dip within just 100 years, before flipping so that compasses point south – an event they admit could wreck the entire world’s power grid and expose the world to deadly cosmic rays.
Earth’s magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal at present, leading geophysicists to predict a flip within a few thousand years – but Discovery news says that could understimate the speed of the change.
Authors such as Robert Felix claim that previous reversals have been associated with mass disruptions such as the extinction of Neanderthal man, and with supervolcano eruptions and other apocalyptic events.
The ‘flip’ occurs regularly, but there has not been a documented instance for 800,000 years.
The Berkeley researchers say that apocalyptic events such as supervolcano eruptions are not likely – but that the flip could leave Earth exposed to cosmic rays which our magnetic field normally shields us from, leading to mutations and cancer in human beings.
Study co-author Paul Renne said, ‘We should be thinking more about what the biologic effects would be.’ Read More