Posted 27 декабря 2022, 07:42

Published 27 декабря 2022, 07:42

Modified 28 декабря 2022, 09:01

Updated 28 декабря 2022, 09:01

Question of the day: Will the Earth's magnetic poles change in the nearest future?

27 декабря 2022, 07:42
The last time such a phenomenon happened on our planet more than forty thousand years ago, its consequences were severe, but not catastrophic.

Ivan Zubov

A beautiful picture called "Migration of the Earth's magnetic pole from 1590 to 2020" is widely distributed on social networks.

It clearly shows that the movement of the magnetic field of our planet has not only accelerated several times, but also in terms of its magnitude, the field has decreased by 10% on average over the past 150 years. Meanwhile, American scientists in the summer drew attention to the fact that the protective shell of our planet has greatly weakened: over the past centuries, its magnetic activity has dropped sharply, and science cannot explain the reasons for this state of affairs yet.

At the same time, scientists are also recording the so-called South Atlantic magnetic anomaly, which is precisely caused by a dip in the Earth's magnetic field and represents an area of intense radiation. This anomaly is known not only for failures in the operation of spacecraft and satellite equipment, but also for unexplained physical phenomena, which are regularly reported by astronauts.

Scientists fear that in the future a reconfiguration is likely to occur, as a result of which the poles of the Earth will change. As physicist Andrey Rostovtsev writes in his blog: "When the magnetic field weakens completely, the magnetic poles will rush around the planet like rabid hares from hungry wolves. This is about what happened forty thousand years ago, when the north and south poles swapped places for a relatively short time. It is unlikely that then we will be concerned about the position of the poles, but the loss of protection from streams of charged particles and ionization of the atmosphere can have much more serious consequences. So, in the 50s and 60s, atmospheric electricity turned out to be very sensitive to the effects of nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere. It would be interesting to read about the forecasts for humanity in the event of the disappearance of the Earth's magnetic field. Forty thousand years ago, the Neanderthals disappeared. And what awaits our descendants?"

However, in their work, scientists have stated that it is too early to draw hasty conclusions. Having modeled the Earth's magnetic field, they also reported that, in their opinion, the South Atlantic anomaly will disappear within the next 300 years, so the pole change may not happen. But it is very difficult to say something for sure.

Physicist Alexander Kosovsky argues that such a change in the axis of rotation of the Earth's magnetic field indicates a possible decrease in the rotation frequency of our planet. "Stopping a huge electric motor will lead to the disappearance of the protective magnetosphere. Whether it will pass in the remaining lifetime of 5 billion years or not, no one knows..."

"On the other hand, this has happened so often in the history of the Earth that over the next 5 billion years we will have time to lose count many more times by repainting the compass..." comments Rostovtsev on these concerns.

The last time the poles changed was 42,000 years ago. And yes, then all living beings on the planet went through a very difficult period, but a global catastrophe still did not happen. And yet, if the pole shift does take place, this phenomenon will seriously disrupt the operation of almost all electronic equipment on Earth.