Reversal of earth's magnetic field

  1. I understand that the sun changes magnetic polarity far more often than Earth does (correct me if I'm wrong as it's just what I read).

    Apparently it is statistically likely that the earth's magnetic field will change polarity at some time, so what sort of effects will this have in practcal terms on us and our environment, apart from ruining the betting odds of any sensible result in pigeon racing or possibly getting the auroras in odd places

    Can you think of any products which would be advantageous to have given this situation if it happened suddenly as I'd like to get in with the patents well before the event!
  2. jcsd
  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The reversal isn't sudden, it usually happens gradually over a period of 1,000-5,000 years. It's been ~780k years since the last reversal, and scientists say it may happen in another 1,000 years, or not.

    From the many articles and programs I have read, the wikipedia article actually does a fine job of briefly going over the issues.

    I can post other links later. But you should read this first.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  4. davenn

    davenn 3,877
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    hi Evo,

    you had better correct your 780 million years to 780,000 yrs :wink:

    there's been some 20 - 21 reversals in the last 5 million years

  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    LOL!! Corrected, thanks! I got it correct in other threads I've posted on this. We've had quite a few.
  6. Dotini

    Dotini 757
    Gold Member

    The South Atlantic Anomaly is a dent in Earth's shield against cosmic radiation, 124 miles above the ground (200 kilometers). It may be the most dangerous place in the Earth's sphere for satellites and spacecraft to traverse, because anything electronic traveling through it is vulnerable to strong radiation from space and tends to malfunction.

    particularly hot and dense feature in the mantle below southern Africa and the Atlantic called the Large Low Shear Velocity Province may have something to do with locally weakening the magnetic field and periodic reversals.
  7. What can be the cause of this anomaly?
    Remnant of some ancient collision of the Earth with another protoplanetary body?
    This is not wild speculation. it's pretty much accepted that an event of this kind is the reason why we have a large moon.
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor
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