Earth's magnetic poles are about to flip, radiation threat looms large

Representational picture of Planet Earth Pixabay

As per the evidence, earth's magnetic poles, North and South, have made a flip once in every 200,000 to 300,000 years. However, now the event is long overdue, as they haven't shifted in the last 780,000 years. According to a recent report, the magnetic poles of the earth are currently prepping up to take the jump.

According to Undark Magazine, while the upcoming shift can't be confirmed completely, the occurrence will have major implications on planetary life. As per NASA, our home planet is protected by the magnetic fields. Lethal radiations, such as solar rays, cannot hit us directly because the magnetic poles of earth deflect them and make them travel away. When the North and South magnetic poles flip, these protection fields become weak, which is troublesome because it may not be leaving us with enough defense against the dangerous radiations.

The upcoming flip of earth's magnetic poles may turn certain areas on the planet uninhabitable, believes Daniel Baker, a cosmic radiation expert, who is also the director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics of University of Colorado, Boulder, reported the publication.

The devastation could come along through various avenues that would be opened once the magnetic poles flip. It could be the dangerous solar rays, ultraviolet B rays or the cosmic rays, which would make their ways through our already shabby ozone layer. It can destroy the entire world as we know it.

Our advanced infrastructure wouldn't survive much longer if this actually happens. Once the radiations glide through, more will come following as the satellite grids over the earth are connected to one another. This would then lead to a mass blackout on the earth and that would be just one of the many disasters that will follow, warns the magazine.

Since 2014, Swarm, a group of three satellites from the European Space Agency, has been observing the changes at the core of the earth, the origin of the magnetic fields of the planet. These observations have shown that both the nickel and molten iron are running out of the core. This type of fidgety activity indicates the fact that earth's magnetic field is getting ready to shift, stated the magazine.

Also Read: The world is heading towards "ice apocalypse"; Can we dodge it this time?

To survive the situations, first of all, satellite companies should start working together, sharing ideas about how to create new satellites, equipped with mechanisms to tackle a pole reversal situation. Government and academics should also focus on creating new satellites, especially devised to bear the aftereffects of a pole flip. They should also ramp up the specifications of the existing ones, suggests Futurism.

However, one should also keep this in mind that all of earth's efforts to shift poles have not been successful. One such failed attempt had occurred around 40,000 years ago, mentioned the publication.

This article was first published on February 1, 2018