Jan 16, 2019 I Brett Tingley

Scientists Have No Idea What The Earth’s Magnetic Field is Doing

As far as modern science has come, there are still many natural phenomena that scientists struggle to understand or explain. For years, scientists have studied the Earth’s magnetic field in an attempt to better understand the powerful forces which shape many of the geological and even biological processes which occur on spaceship Earth, and those studies have revealed that the geomagnetic field is weakening and displaying anomalous behavior that can’t yet be explained. We know that the magnetic poles shift periodically, and there are signs that they may shift sooner than we thought. The scariest part of all this is that we have no idea what effects such a shift would have on the world around us.

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Earth‘s magnetic field protects us from various forms of solar and cosmic radiation.

The latest in geomagnetic fear-mongering comes from a report published in Nature this week which basically lays out the case that we have no idea what’s going on with the planet’s magnetic field. Every five years, an international panel of geologists and physicists publish what’s known as the World Magnetic Model, a kind of descriptive map of the Earth’s magnetic field. The map is an integral part of modern navigation and telecommunications systems, but according to Arnaud Chulliat, a geomagnetist at the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “the error is increasing all the time.” The current map, despite being only a few years old, is already out of date.

That's because rapidly wandering magnetic poles and unexplained magnetic anomalies are making it more difficult to map the Earth’s magnetic field. The north magnetic pole is moving at a rate of 55 kilometers per year and is currently squarely in the Eastern Hemisphere heading towards Siberia, and that high rate of movement is forcing geomagnetists to revise the World Magnetic Model much sooner than normal. Ultimately, the effects of such a rapid shift remain unknown.

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Geomagnetic anomalies have even been proposed as possible causes for recent mass animal deaths.

Already, the effects of these magnetic anomalies are being felt around the world. Mass unexplained animal deaths and beachings are happening with terrifying frequency, and some top scientific agencies believe geomagnetic anomalies could be the cause. What’s going to happen when the poles shift?

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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