Earth's Magnetic Field Reverses

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by GopherT, May 22, 2013.

  1. GopherT

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Every few years I hear a story that reminds me of something I learned in a Geology class a very long time ago. I don't know if it is widely known but every time I bring it up it tends to surprise people. I am still looking for an explaination.

    The earth's magnetic field reverses on occasion (100k to millions of years). It seems to flip over a very short period of time. The direction can be monitored by historical rock formations (sea bed).

    When I first heard about this, I thought the Geologist/professor had some type of misunderstanding of the topic - I couldn't be it was possible. Then, after confirming it, I thought it would be explained within a few years because scientific knowledge was growing so quickly. Well, here we are more than 30 years later and still no answer.

    Does anyone have a theory to explain what causes the magnetic field reversal?

    Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_magnetic_field#Magnetic_field_reversals
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Theory: It's true.

    First year physics classes measure the magnetic field of the Earth. I believe that doctorate level geologists can do as well, even if they have to measure rocks to do it.
     
  3. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    I believe it is true and does happen.

    The theories I am looking for should explain the cause of the reversal.
     
  4. Brownout

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    Jan 10, 2012
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    I thought I felt a disturbance in the Force.
     
  5. Kermit2

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    Feb 5, 2010
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  6. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    It's because of the stupid overuse of Mother nature's natural resources.

    Stop the man-made continental drift: REUNITE PANGEA !!!
     
    tracecom and #12 like this.
  7. bountyhunter

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    Sep 7, 2009
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    It does reverse, I believe there are at least eight documented in rock. It has to do with the rotation of the earth's internal core. Ther field weakens as it approaches a reversal, and it starts by having reversals in small areas that eventually spread to the whole thing.


    http://news.discovery.com/earth/wea...rth-magnetic-field-poles-flip-fast-121024.htm
     
  8. Cliff987

    New Member

    Oct 2, 2012
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    Dwarf migrations.
    When they migrate they take all the magnetite with them and everything goes kerflooy
     
  9. tracecom

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    Apr 16, 2010
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    Dang. I just bought a new compass.
     
  10. Kermit2

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    Invest in some good sunscreen lotion, say SPF 1,000,000. Our magnetic field provides protection from solar particle radiation by directing its travel towards our magnetic polar regions. Without this magnetic field the high speed particle radiation will impact molecules in the atmosphere directly above the sun facing side of the planet and everything below will get showered with secondary ray and particle radiation scatter.

    Lead roofing anyone? :)
     
  11. Kermit2

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    Now that I consider the radiation aspect of polar reversals, it may be one of the reasons for the large diversity and rapid evolution of plant and animal species on this planet. Periodic intervals of intense radiation do increase mutation rates in all living organisms. An extremely large X class solar flare that makes a direct hit during such an unprotected interval might even trigger extinction level events.
     
  12. Bob T.

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    Oct 22, 2012
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    It does happen, but don't worry it happens every 1 millions years or something similar to that, but i know that it happened from about 50,000 years ago so the probability is low for it to happen.
     
  13. tracecom

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    Apr 16, 2010
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    Yeah, I remember that. :)
     
  14. bountyhunter

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    Sep 7, 2009
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    It's actually overdue.

    http://www.physics.org/facts/frog-magnetic-field.asp
     
  15. tracecom

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    Apr 16, 2010
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  16. bountyhunter

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    Sep 7, 2009
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    If you see flocks of geese circling and flying into each other..... we're all screwed!
     
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