The Earth's magnetic field plays a crucial role in protecting the planet from the sun's dangerous solar radiation. However, new reports suggest that the magnetic pole is mysteriously weakening. Scientists revealed that the magnetic field is weakening between Africa and South America, and it could disrupt the functioning of satellites and spacecraft.
A Mysterious Phenomenon
Scientists who took part in the study noted that the magnetic field in an area known as the South Atlantic Anomaly has been weakening over the past 50 years by 8 per cent. Researchers made the conclusion after analyzing data gathered by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Swarm constellation of satellites.
"The new, eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing vigorously. We are very lucky to have the Swarm satellites in orbit to investigate the development of the South Atlantic Anomaly. The challenge now is to understand the processes in Earth's core driving these changes," said Jürgen Matzka, a scientist at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in a recent statement.
Magnetic Pole Shift Imminent?
As the magnetic field continues to weaken, a section of scientists believes that the Earth is gearing up for a pole reversal, which means north and south magnetic poles will swap positions. ESA reveals that such phenomena are quite common, and it has happened at least once in every 2,50,000 years.
If such an event happens, telecommunication and satellite systems will face operational difficulties, leading to possible malfunctioning of smartphones and computers that rely on these systems. Spacecraft flying near the South Atlantic Anomaly could also face technical malfunctions.
This is not an everlasting phenomenon, as the Earth's magnetic field will gradually start strengthening. Fortunately, this phenomenon will not create any negative impact on life that thrives on the blue planet.