New Evidence for Rapid Magnetic Pole Shift
Suddenly a candidate for 2012 becomes more feasible… if only we can work out a way the Mayans could have predicted it!
Previous evidence for a high-speed pole shift (in 1995) was dismissed by most scientists because it was an anomaly. Now that more evidence has emerged, it is time for geologists to accept that a magnetic pole shift can affect us without notice.
This lava, Bogue says, initially started to cool and then was heated again within a year as a fresh lava flow buried it. The fresh lava re-magnetized the crystals within the rock below, causing them to reorient themselves a whopping 53 degrees. At the rate the lava would have cooled, says Bogue, that would mean the magnetic field was changing direction at approximately 1 degree per week. (Read the full news item at Wired.com.)
Still scientists are clinging to a slow reversal, rather than an on/off switch. 53 degrees of difference between one year and the next does not necessarily mean it took a whole year. If there were three data points, then a rate of change can be deduced. But with two, it is impossible to determine the rate of change. It’s like saying I was asleep at midnight, and awake at 7am, therefore it takes me 7 hours to slowly awake.
But apocalyptic SyFy channel movies to the contrary, nobody should worry about waking up one morning to geomagnetic havoc, says Bogue. “To geologists a polarity reversal is a nearly instantaneous thing that changes a global feature of the Earth — it’s really a spectacular phenomenon,” he says. “But if you were alive when it was happening, it probably wouldn’t be that big a deal.”
No big deal! Well, all GPS systems will fail, alongside any equipment that depends on it. We are also likely to discover that many more animals are affected that expected, and who knows what a planet full of disoriented beings would be like! Oh, and don’t forget that minor detail of the protection we receive from the geomagnetic field – if the pole shift involves that shield disappearing for a day, anything out in the sun could suffer terribly.