Earth’s north and south poles may not flip so quickly

G.GLATZMAIER, LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY/P.ROBERTS, UCLA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

We appear to be safe from a catastrophic reversal of the north and south magnetic poles, according to evidence showing that the last swap took a lot longer, and was a lot messier, than scientists thought. The magnetic field shields Earth from the sun’s harmful radiation and cosmic rays, so a sudden polarity reversal could affect our power and communications systems, as well as our health.

But a new analysis of lava flows, ocean sediment and Antarctic ice cores found that …

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View Article Here New Scientist – Earth