One of the old favorite doomsday scenarios is that Earth’s magnetic poles will realign themselves, causing worldwide destruction and the end of humanity as we know it. While researchers say the death and destruction part of that theory is unlikely, what they are in agreement about is that Earth’s magnetic poles are realigning…or at least that’s what they’re hoping.
A recent study from the European Space Agency found that Earth’s magnetic fields are actually weakening at what some might consider an alarming rate.
New measurements put the rate of magnetic field decay at around five percent per year, which is about 10 times faster than previous estimates. The decay is also not uniform. Some spots are decaying faster, while in other areas, the magnetic field is strengthening.
Researchers familiar with Earth’s magnetic field aren’t worried, though. They say these recent measurements are proof that Earth’s poles are preparing to flip. The last time Earth’s poles switched was during the Stone Age, so it’s unclear what kind of impact a flip would have on life in our modern era.
However, the consensus among researchers is that the switching of the poles won’t cause much damage. The worst that will happen, they say, is that we’ll have to relabel compasses.
(via Mysterious Universe)
So I guess we have a 50/50 shot at the end of the world happening in the next few years. Then again, I suppose the odds are like that on most days anyway.
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