Could Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flip This Century?

The last (pole) snap between reversed and normal (today) polarity  happened between two (ancient ash) samples that are only two centimeters apart.  That has to correspond to 100 years or less.”

- Paul Renne, Ph.D., Director, Berkeley Geochronology Center, UC-Berkeley

 Above are supercomputer models of Earth's magnetic field. On the left is a normal dipolar  magnetic field. On the right is the sort of complicated magnetic field Earth would have leading up to a pole reversal. The Earth's dipole magnetic field, akin to a bar magnet, remains about the same intensity for thousands to millions of years. Then for unknown reasons, it can  weaken and reverse polarity. In the first half of 2014, data indicates that the Earth's magnetic field is decreasing 10 times faster than normal. Illustration by NASA.
Above are supercomputer models of Earth's magnetic field. On the left is a normal dipolar magnetic field. On the right is the sort of complicated magnetic field Earth would have leading up to a pole reversal. The Earth's dipole magnetic field, akin to a bar magnet, remains about the same intensity for thousands to millions of years. Then for unknown reasons, it can weaken and reverse polarity. In the first half of 2014, data indicates that the Earth's magnetic field is decreasing 10 times faster than normal. Illustration by NASA.
Earth's magnetic poles are actually pretty far from its geographic poles. In 2005,  the North Magnetic Pole (NMP) was about 810 km (503 miles) from the Geographic North Pole (GNP). The NMP was in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. The South Magnetic Pole (SMP) was about 2,826 km (1,756 miles) from the Geographic South Pole. The SMP was off the coast of Antarctica in the direction of Australia. Approximate 2014 North Magnetic Pole Coordinates: 75.7667° N, 99.7833° W Approximate 2014 South Magnetic Pole Coordinates: 107.79°E, 80.08°S
Earth's magnetic poles are actually pretty far from its geographic poles. In 2005, the North Magnetic Pole (NMP) was about 810 km (503 miles) from the Geographic North Pole (GNP). The NMP was in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. The South Magnetic Pole (SMP) was about 2,826 km (1,756 miles) from the Geographic South Pole. The SMP was off the coast of Antarctica in the direction of Australia. Approximate 2014 North Magnetic Pole Coordinates: 75.7667° N, 99.7833° W Approximate 2014 South Magnetic Pole Coordinates: 107.79°E, 80.08°S

December 18, 2014  Berkeley, California - 786,000 years ago, iron atoms in Earth's liquid outer core began switching their orientation in opposition to the existing Earth magnetic field. What causes iron atoms to act like tiny magnets that revolt against the planetary magnetic field is not understood. But when it happens in increasing numbers, patches of reverse-aligned iron atoms keep growing until they dominate the rest of the Earth's liquid outer core — and the planet's magnetic field flips. That means what was the north magnetic pole becomes the south magnetic pole and what was the south becomes the north. According to ancient sedimentary rock, volcanic ash and sea floor core research, there have been 184 polarity changes in the last 83 million years. Recent ground research indicates that in the century before the last pole flip, the Earth's magnetic field weakened and strengthened and weakened and strengthened several times before locking into the current north and south magnetic poles.

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