After all, the Earth’s magnetic field will probably not change sooner or later

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After all, the Earth's magnetic field will probably not change sooner or later

The South Atlantic Anomaly, a mystery area where the magnetic field is exceptionally weak, had fueled suspicion that the next flip was imminent. According to a new study, this anomaly may not signal that a weakening and switching of the magnetic field is near.

The results are based on analyses of burnt archaeological artifacts, volcanic samples and sediment drill cores, which contain information on the history of Earth’s magnetic field.

“Based on similarities with the recreated anomalies, we predict that the South Atlantic Anomaly will probably disappear within the next 300 years and that Earth is not heading towards a polarity reversal,” Nilsson said.

The team from Lund University used these data to develop a model that recreated the direction and strength of the magnetic field at specific places and times.

Story Highlights

  • The magnetic north and south poles of the Earth switch at random periods every 200,000 years or so, and the event might have a major impact on the environment and technology.

  • “We have mapped changes in the Earth’s magnetic field over the past 9,000 years, and anomalies like the one in the South Atlantic are probably recurring phenomena linked to corresponding variations in the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field,” Andreas Nilsson, a geologist at Lund University and co-author of the study, said in a statement(opens in new tab).