Saturday, April 13, 2019

Doomed! We're All Doomed!

In 500 years or so. And it's not Global Warming, Climate Change, Hot Cold Wet Dry this time. From "Tyler Durnden" at Zero Hedge: The Weakening Of Earth's Magnetic Field Has Greatly Accelerated
Earth’s magnetic field is getting significantly weaker, the magnetic north pole is shifting at an accelerating pace, and scientists readily admit that a sudden pole shift could potentially cause “trillions of dollars” in damage. Today, most of us take the protection provided by Earth’s magnetic field completely for granted. It is essentially a colossal force field which surrounds our planet and makes life possible. And even with such protection, a giant solar storm could still potentially hit our planet and completely fry our power grid. But as our magnetic field continues to get weaker and weaker, even much smaller solar storms will have the potential to be cataclysmic. And once the magnetic field gets weak enough, we will be facing much bigger problems. As you will see below, if enough solar radiation starts reaching our planet none of us will survive.

But now we are being told that data collected from the SWARM satellite indicate that the rate of decay is now 5 percent per decade
It’s well established that in modern times, the axial dipole component of Earth’s main magnetic field is decreasing by approximately 5% per century. Recently, scientists using the SWARM satellite announced that their data indicate a decay rate ten times faster, or 5% per decade.
In case you didn’t quite get that, 5 percent per decade is 10 times faster than 5 percent per century.If the rate of decay continues at this pace, or if it speeds up even more, we could be looking at a mass extinction event that is beyond what most people would dare to imagine.
Now this is where I begin to differ. The earth's magnetic field has faded and flipped numerous times in the geologic past.  The events are recorded in lava flows in which the magnetic field is recorded in cooling lava. There is no evidence that the reversals are associated with any particular biologic extinction events.
As more solar radiation reaches Earth, we would expect to see a rise in cancer rates, and this is something that even National Geographic has acknowledged
However, if the magnetic field gets substantially weaker and stays that way for an appreciable amount of time Earth will be less protected from the oodles of high-energy particles that are constantly flying around in space. This means that everything on the planet will be exposed to higher levels of radiation, which over time could produce an increase in diseases like cancer, as well as harm delicate spacecraft and power grids on Earth.
Of course we are already seeing this. Cancer rates have been rising all over the world, and if you live in the United States there is a one in three chance that you will get cancer in your lifetime.
That's mostly because we're not dying of other things (like disease) living long enough to get cancer. It turns out people are much more robust to elevated levels of radiation than you might like to think.
But as the magnetic field continues to weaken, things will get worse. A lot worse.

The weaker the magnetic field gets, the amount of solar radiation that will reach us will rise, and eventually it would get so bad that the entire human race would be in jeopardy. The following comes from Futurism
Radiation and cosmic rays are a real concern for NASA, especially when it comes to long-term spaceflight. Astronauts on a mission to Mars could undergo up to 1000 times the exposure to radiation and cosmic rays that they would get on Earth. If Earth’s magnetic field disappeared, the entire human race – and all of life, in fact – would be in serious danger. Cosmic rays would bombard our bodies and could even damage our DNA, increasing worldwide risk of cancer and other illnesses. The flashes of light visible when we close our eyes would be the least of our problems.
And even if some of us found a way to survive underground for a while, we still wouldn’t be able to survive because solar winds would strip away our planet’s atmosphere and oceans
Without Earth’s magnetic field, solar winds — streams of electrically charged particles that flow from the sun — would strip away the planet’s atmosphere and oceans. As such, Earth’s magnetic field helped to make life on the planet possible, researchers have said.
So could such a scenario actually happen?
It's thought that the loss of the planet's magnetic field caused most of Mars atmosphere to be stripped away by the solar wind, but that process occurred over a few billion years, not a few hundred. However, our atmosphere would protect us from most of the radiation from cosmic rays during the reversal.
Well, some scientists are saying that our magnetic field “could be gone in as little as 500 years”, but they are telling us not to worry because Earth’s magnetic poles will “flip” and things will eventually return to normal…
The magnetic field surrounding Earth is weakening, and scientists say it could be gone in as little as 500 years.
The result? Earth’s magnetic poles could, literally, flip upside down.
Of course most scientists believe that a pole flip takes hundreds or thousands of years to happen, but they don’t actually know because they have never seen one take place.
They also believe that we would potentially be facing “trillions of dollars in damage” to our power grid and electrical infrastructure because the magnetic field would be so weak during a flip…
Storms far less powerful than these could cause much more damage if they happened to hit while Earth’s magnetic field was in the midst of a reversal, Roberts said. The result would likely be trillions of dollars in damage to our electrical infrastructure, and right now, there’s no plan for dealing with an event of that magnitude.
“Hopefully, such an event is a long way in the future and we can develop future technologies to avoid huge damage,” Roberts concluded. Keep your fingers (but not your magnetic-field lines) crossed.
Now this is where we do start to run into problems. Our current life style is highly dependent on a vibrant electrical grid, which is relatively fragile to the effects of solar storms. It's pretty well established that a solar storm on the scale of the Carrington Event could cause catastrophic damage to our electrical and communications systems even with a healthy magnetic field. The weak magnetic field during the reversal would make the whole system even more unstable. Like asteroid strikes, this is a threat worth addressing. 

But it would be interesting to live through a magnetic field reversal. But sort of a hassle to change the labels on all the magnetic compasses.

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