Weakening magnetic field and ozone layer

  1. Are there any evidence / researches about the relation of weakening magnetic field of Earth and thickness of ozone layer?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Excellent question.

    Yes, the magnetic field is weakening slightly and the ozone layer is getting thinner but a relationship between the two is unclear.

    Of course ozone is constantly formed due to ultraviolet light and destroyed again by chemical active particles. There is a balance between the two. Weakening magnetic field would allow more cosmic particles to enter the atmosphere, mayby reacting directly with ozone or via breaking up nitrogen molecules (N2) that recombine with ozone to form nitric oxide but the quantitative magnitude if this process is unclear. Direct solar activity may have much more effect on the ozone layer.

    As for the experience of Earth in the past. The last million years have shown a dozen or so collapses of the Earth magnetic field and one flip of the magnetic poles 780,000 years ago. None of these events have been associated with any biologic upheavel (extinctions) and the only massive extinction (the mammoths an so on) is not associated with a collapse of the magnetic field. So chances are fair that not to much will happen in case of a magnetic field collapse.
     
  4. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Actually, I heard (maybe I'll look for it...) that the hole is now closing due to the elimination of CFC's.
     
  5. Would it be possible for the magenetic shockwave from a very, large coronal mass ejection, aimed directly at Earth, to have any negative impact on the Earths magnetic field? Or, possibly, indirectly causing a pole shift?
     
  6. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    No, the magnetic field comes from inside, not outside the earth. Its a result of the spinning of the core.

    A CME or flare doesn't harm our magnetic field - its our magnetic field that protects us from the effects of a CME. So a really big one can overwealm our magnetic field and damage electronics in satellites and disrupt communications. But the magnetic field itself remains intact.
     
  7. thankyou for the reply.

    I understand the source of the field completely. I was just wondering if there were any attracting/opposing effects going on between the two. The Earths field (core)trying to maintain, for lack of better words.

    i'm thinking along the lines of moving a magnet closer to another magnet. one magnet will attempt to move (core) if the others inward path is held. Or did i just answer my own question? :P
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?