Earth’s magnetic field, and what if it disappears?

Earth’s magnetic field, and what if it disappears?

Surrounding the earth, the magnetic field created by its core is vital to life. It protects the earth from solar radiation, guides the navigator’s compass, and may have played an important role in the evolution of life on Earth. Scientists point out that its magnetism is gradually decreasing. What would happen if Earth’s magnetic field disappeared tomorrow?

It is believed that our planet’s magnetic field is generated deep inside the Earth, by its core. No one has ever been to the center of the earth. But by studying how earthquake-induced waves travel across the earth, physicists have been able to adjust their guessing structure.

How magnetism happens

Earth's magnetic field
Earth’s magnetic field

At the heart of the earth is a solid inner core that is two-thirds the size of the Moon. It is basically made up of iron. The iron is as hot as the Sun’s surface (5504.85 ° C) and hot as 5,700 ° C.Excessive pressure caused by gravity prevents it from melting.

The outer core around it is about 2,000 km thick and contains iron, nickel, and other metals. The metal is fluid because it is less pressure than the inner core.

Due to changes in temperature, pressure, and composition in the outer core, the melted (molten) metal undergoes a solid, and hot, semi-solid material that emerges. It creates convection currents. Coriolis, which is caused by Earth’s rotation, also causes hurricanes.

This flow of liquid iron generates electric currents, producing magnetic fields. The charged metals that travel through these fields create their own electric current. So this cycle (geodynamo) is continuously running. Due to the spiral motion of the Coriolis force, the magnetic fields are aligned in roughly the same direction. Their combined result is the creation of one large magnetic field around the Earth.

What are the “North” and the “South”?

Earth's magnetic field
Earth’s magnetic field

Earth’s magnetic field is gradually weakening, Reuters reported. Scientists have been measuring this weakness in magnetic fields with magnetic observatories and satellites for the past 160 years.

About 80% of the magnetic field is currently polar, John Tarduno, a geophysicist at the University of Rochester, told to LiveScience. The idea is that it works much like a rod magnet. In the past, the magnetic field has toppled, shifting north and south to the present position. The last time such a turn occurred was 780,000 years ago, in the era of Homo erectus.

Mathematical representations show that such a reversal would take thousands of years to complete. This is faster by geological standards but slower than a human scale. In some cases the low-magnification of the magnetic field causes the excursion to return to its former position without being completely removed.

The earth has two poles. For ease of identification, we have come to a consensus that they are “north” (= top) and “south” (= bottom). During the popularity of sea voyages, the Chinese set the compass in the south. The South Cross helped with the voyage. Egyptians draw the Nile, and Arab maps, such as Morocco, draw on the south. In 1979, MacArthur published a sophisticated map of the South, heard from American friends that he had come from the lower part of the world.

The influence of European mappers, especially Ptolemy’s map, compasses on the top of the north, maybe considered standard, but if you step down from the earth and move into space, you will see no difference in the north-south. For a sphere has no end.

Magnetic field and Earth’s inhabitants

Cosmic rays and solar winds are harmful to Earth’s life, and magnetic shielding reduces the hazards caused by the influx of various deadly particles into the earth. The effects of cosmic rays on the body can be dangerous. For example, astronauts are reported to have shined bright lights during lunar missions. It is the result of cosmic rays passing through their retina. It can even lead to blindness.

Radiation and cosmic rays are a matter of concern to NASA during long-term space travel. They also pose problems for the Earth’s magnetic field. Pilots and astronauts at high altitudes are exposed to high levels of radiation during magnetic storms, but the cause is radiation, not the magnetic field.

The magnetic field of the Earth’s surface has no direct impact on human health, and the earthquake can affect electronic devices. If it does not, solar storms can kill organisms and electronic devices. Without the magnetic field, which would be a comet, like modern Mars, because the solar wind would disperse the Earth’s atmosphere into free space. NASA notes that there may have been water and air in it and the solar wind may have lost it.

The compass will never work again when the magnetic field is gone. While there are no modern physical compasses, electronic compass hardware on mobile phones supports Google Maps. Humans are not the only animals that use the Earth’s magnetic field for travel. Many birds, sea turtles, lobsters, bees, salmon, and even fruit flies have biological compasses. They are called magnetic acceptor forms.

Birds use this ability to find warm climates in the winter and sea turtles use this ability to search for beaches to lay eggs in the open ocean. Scientists think that most female turtles come to the same beach every year. This is another function of their natural compass. That is, if the cosmic rays and the sun were to kill us, the “North-South would shift” and the animals and humans would become extinct.

Humans’ technological curiosity and life’s evolving abilities will be solved by such times. 

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