Magnetic Reversal

By | January 24, 2008

In yesterday’s class, we discussed why the core is extremely important for survival of the planet. I also mentioned briefly that Earth’s magnetic field could be reversed. Consequences of such a reversal are still being speculated. Here’s a link to PBS’ NOVA piece on magnetic storms, that will give you additional insight on such reversals. Link.

If this reversal were to happen now, how will this reversal affect you?

16 thoughts on “Magnetic Reversal

  1. Logan

    This would be crazy to experience in our lifetime. I use compasses a lot for my sailing. If every compass started pointing south, I’m not sure that it would mess everything up, but it would take some getting used to.

  2. Logan

    Would this make toilets swirl the other direction when flushed?

  3. Kathryn

    this is crazy. I can’t imagine this happening in our lifetime. I mean its crazy that animals are going to have to switch their instincts about locomotion and such. I guess that humans will be effected both severely and mildly with such a weaker shield more cancers and diseases would occur. I hope that the government is starting to take precautions and take this into account to prepare for something. i’m not sure of what they could do. On the video.. it said it may happen in the next few hundred years, but I guess that means it could happen any day as well. thats crazy to me. a neat thing would be to have the “northern light” occuring elsewhere. that probably would be the only plus. definitely makes me concerned though

  4. Todd

    /i think it would be pretty exciting just so long as its not the end o f the world. it makes it really interesting that scientist cant figure out exactly what would happen. mysterious

  5. Erica

    I never thought much about magnetic reversal. After reading Logans example it made me realize how many people my own age actually use compasses today. Think of how many jobs/recreation would be effected by this change. How would the people of the United States react if we were to change to the metric system? If that is a big deal… just think of a magnetic reversal!

    As Logan says… Would this make toilets swirl the other direction when flushed?

  6. murraydonna

    Supposedly this has happened to the earth several times. This leads me to believe that this is a natural and perhaps necessary course for our planet to take. On the other hand, this hasn’t occurred within current times. Our society relies heavily on technology which is reliant the current magnetic field. Perhaps this is another Y2K hype, just like Dr. Vulava mentioned in class. Who knows!

  7. kitty

    I think something like this happening wouldn’t only be crazy, but life changing as well. If something like this were to happen and have such a large effect on animals then there is no way that it wouldn’t effect humans as well. Most people don’t even consider how something like this would change their every day lives. And not only do I question what would happen in the future, but how would something like this happening effect our past?

  8. Hampton

    This would be a different experience. I have used a compass to sailing as well, but I also use it for other things than sailing. If this magnetic reversal was to happen, I feel it would bring a new age to direction and location for people.

  9. Hampton

    What about the technology that deals with Global Positioning? Would this mean “new” technology would have to be developed?

  10. Laura

    If this magnetic reversal happened now, how would it effect me?
    Well it probably wouldn’t effect me as much as it would effect other animals that us Earth’s magnetic field to navigate where they are to migrate next or how to get to the coastline to lay their eggs, ect. I don’t believe it would effect me very much actually, despite the fact that it may throw off my GPS I use sometimes in my car…I don’t see any other way that it would seriously change my everyday life.

    Laura L.

  11. rkerr

    According to the evidence it will not happen anytime during our life time and seems that very little will be effec. The animals will have time to adjust and so far nothing seems to effect humans. I am sure things could go backwards too us now, but no doomsday.
    -Kerr

  12. william sanders

    I’m sure if this sort of thing happened the media would have a field day with it, but I’m not so sure how much of an effect it would have on us as humans besides messing with our technology, which I guess could be a huge issue.

  13. Mike McLaughlin

    It would be an experience of a lifetime. I don’t think any one person could speculate as to what would happen in such an event, but I can say that it would change the rest of our lives.

  14. Logan

    I have to belief that at first the magnetic reversal would cause much chaos in our world. Something so drastic changing on our planet could cause major problems. I can only imagine all the problems that would occur right after the switch and the confusion it would cause.Although, this might be an eye opener to those less conciseness of the planet we live on and how much we depend on it.
    -Logan Roberts

  15. gar

    I spend a lot of time on the ocean and if this were to change the way we use compasses then I would probably get lost a lot.

  16. Jonathan

    A change in the earth’s magnetic field seems as if it would cause dramatic changes in animal migration patterns. I would be curious to see how quickly they could adapt to the new magnetic conditions and if it caused any extinction due to irregular migration. Also, I would like to see the aurora borealis from my window at night!
    Also, seems as if no one can predict when this change will occur, but it should happen relatively soon (in regards to the geological time scale)

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