Researchers from the University of Rochester have started to look at an anomaly in the Earth’s magnetic field, coming from the Southern Hemisphere. This weird phenomenon has been named the South Atlantic Anomaly, a fitting name for what it is.
The steps of their research
They collected data that spans for over 1000 years in order to find out the causes of this anomaly or, even better, to see how it developed over time. The data was collected from sites in South Africa. It shows that one region in particular is responsible for this possible pole reversal. The lead researcher on this project is John Tarduno.
The main goal of this research was to record how Earth’s magnetic field decreased over time, or even if there were any significant changes at a particular point in time. They found out that the first major fluctuation happened between 400-450 AD and 700-750 AD. A second important one happened between 1225 and 1550 AD. This means that the phenomenon is not a new one but that the South Atlantic Anomaly is the recent form of this magnetic shift.
What are the implications of a magnetic shift?
There are a number of ramifications, ranging from small changes to significant ones. For starters, this could mean that magnetic shift would lead to electric grid power failures. In a worst case situation, this shift would lead to radiation reaching the Earth and impacting the areas. Earth’s magnetic field is one of the first layers that help filter out the levels of radiation that come from space or from the Sun.
Pole reversal – is it a possibility?
Tarduno warns that their research, published in the US National Science Foundation, does not mean that a complete pole reversal is going to happen but that we should be careful and look carefully at how these processes can influence Earth’s natural magnetic shift.