“Why Does Earth’s Magnetic Field Flip?”



500 years before the middle of a magnetic dipole reversal


at the middle of the reversal


500 years after the middle of the reversal


Our planet’s magnetic field reverses about once every 200,000 years on average. However, the time between reversals is highly variable. The last time Earth’s magnetic field flipped was 780,000 years ago, according to the geologic record of Earth’s polarity.

Weak Spot

Peter Olson, a geophysicist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, said scientists can now pinpoint the core-mantle boundary where these instabilities in the magnetic field are happening.

One such disturbance Olson has been observing recently formed over the east-central Atlantic Ocean. Like a little hurricane, the anomaly swept toward the Caribbean and is moving up in the direction of North America.

“It’s a new one, a little thing,” Olson said. “Time will tell whether it develops into something significant. But it is here in the North Atlantic, moving towards the Pentagon. We can track it over the next couple of decades.”

Instabilities such as this, Olson added, are causing Earth’s magnetic field to weaken. Today the field is about 10 percent weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss first began measuring it in 1845. Some scientists speculate the field is headed for a reversal.

See also:


Most of us like stability in our lives, especially when it comes to planet-wide phenomena, such as the daily appearance of the sun or the periodic change of season. So it can be unsettling to learn of global phenomena that are inherently unstable, unpredictable. Such is the case with the Earth’s magnetic field. Every so often, our planet’s magnetic poles reverse polarity (see When Compasses Point South).


Compass needles have always pointed north; in a reversal, they would point south.

You could perhaps take comfort in the knowledge that these reversals happen infrequently—on average every 250,000 years—but maybe not when you consider that it’s been over 700,000 years since the last reversal, and the next one may be currently underway.

See also:


Current evidence suggests we are now approaching one of these transitional states because the main magnetic field is relatively weak and rapidly decreasing, he says. While the last polarity reversal occurred several hundred thousand years ago, the next might come within only a few thousand years.

“Right now, historic records show that the strength of the magnetic field is declining very rapidly. From a quick back-of-the-envelope prediction, in 1,500 years the field will be as weak as it’s ever been and we could go into a state of polarity reversal,” says Singer. “One broad goal of our research is to provide some predictive capability for what could happen and what could be the signs of the next reversal.”

See also:


Global light show

So is the Earth about to flip? The safe bet may disappoint screenplay writers everywhere.

“Chances are we’re not,” said Dr Bloxham. “Reversals are rare events.”

And they would certainly not threaten life on Earth as they do in science fiction. Although there would be extra radiation exposure to satellites and some airplanes, there would also be enough of a residual field to provide protection to people, and certainly no more radiation than what is observed at the poles, where the field lines currently dip.

But there would be some bizarre readjustment. Prior to Earth’s poles re-establishing themselves, a period of disorder would produce multiple poles, according to Dr Bloxham, which may make backwoods camping tricky.

“Getting around using a magnetic compass would be a more complicated endeavour,” he said.

A collapse would also produce a great increase in auroral activity – the beautiful display of lights generated by solar particles that follow the magnetic field lines down into the atmosphere.

And there would be plenty to time to grab a camera – the reversal is gradual.

This would give animals which use the magnetic field for navigation, such as some birds, turtles and bees, time to reorient themselves.

“They’d go through many generations in the period in which the field was entering the phase of reversal,” said Dr Bloxham. “Presumably they would learn new behaviour patterns to accommodate it.”

Really cool query page:


From newscientistvideo

NASA researchers have found out what sequence of events creates the Northern Lights.

Phil Berg Barack Obama Ron Polarik Jeff Schreiber

89 Responses to ““Why Does Earth’s Magnetic Field Flip?””

  1. rosettasister Says:

    From previous thread:

    whatafoolbelieves1 Says:
    December 6, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I have a feeling that the world is laughing at us. It is obvious to all that Obama has something to hide yet the Electoral College will install this man as POTUS. This tells the world that we stand on no principal including our own Constitution. For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be an American.

  2. rosettasister Says:

    whatafoolbelieves1 Says:
    December 6, 2008 at 11:46 pm


    hello, whata!

    I hope it’s okay.

    I copied your comment to new thread.

    “For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be an American.”

    Well, look at it this way.

    At least you were proud until just recently.

    Michelle Obama got it backwards.


  3. jjones Says:


  4. ddlew Says:

    Well let’s see. Burgers on the grill, Big 12 Championship game, and plenty of cold Coors Light………Heaven!

  5. Fae Says:

    Mr. Obama’s Eligibility to be Aired Monday at the National Press Club
    in Washington DC


  6. Fae Says:

    Go watch Rev. Mannings new video tape about the skeletons in
    Obama’s closet!

  7. Fae Says:

    This is what the Russian Newspapers are saying about the US


  8. Fae Says:

    This site works better:

  9. Tenacity Says:

    Pardon me, but the scientific data presented above regarding the polarity of the earth is bogus. The actual evidence shows that the last time the polarity flip flopped was more like 5,000 years ago, when the flood occurred. It didn’t just change once, it went back and forth within a matter of minutes or days. The naturalists always apply uniformitarian concepts to try to make evolution a remote possibility and they completely ignore catastrophic events in their explanations. The one thing that is true is that the field is diminishing. The strength of the field is believed to have been much stronger prior to the flood, which explains why people lived so much longer before the flood because certain rays were filtered out better than they are now. This is also one reason that the accuracy of radiometric dating is limited to about the last 5,000 years because the percentage of carbon radicals was different then.

  10. rosettasister Says:

    Tenacity Says:
    December 7, 2008 at 1:00 am


    Very interesting, Tenacity!

    I was watching National Geographic TV the other night and I just caught the end of show on this subject.

    I knew about the magnetic polar shift, but I hadn’t heard the word “imminent” before and that humanity “should be okay.”

    This piqued my interest so I wanted to find out more.

    I guess if we all start seeing auroras, the reversal may be imminent.

  11. rosettasister Says:

    Fae Says:
    December 7, 2008 at 12:46 am


    Thanks for the links, Fae!

  12. sdee Says:

    Looks like Sarah Palin’s impact on the Georgia Senate race did not go unnoticed by the New Obama Times


    Anyone who draws that much venom from the NYT, ranks high in my book.

  13. rosettasister Says:

    ddlew Says:
    December 7, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Well let’s see. Burgers on the grill, Big 12 Championship game, and plenty of cold Coors Light………Heaven!


    Ain’t that America!

    Good night, everyone!

  14. whatafoolbelieves1 Says:

    I am an optimist but I am also I realist and I do believe that BHO will be placed into office by the Electoral College. Shame on our US Democracy if we allow special interests to override our Constitution.

  15. justanamericancindy4 Says:


    yeah, them going on and on about Palin clothes, makeup and hair stylist
    is nothing more than a smear campaign…they are worried to death that she might ACTUALLY run in 2012

  16. Foxtrot Says:

    Just got in from the concert. Absolutely wonderful!

    Whatafool – Say it ain’t so!?! We can’t give up. We have to stay positive until the end.

    For the record, I am not ashamed of my country . . . just ashamed of the people in it who are uninformed or lying. I love the USA!

    I hope SCOTUS comes back tomorrow with a good decision. If Berg and Leo fail, I dont’ know how they could say that the former VP candidate Orly could not have standing! She most certainly had something to lose by Obama’s fraud, in the eyes of the law. I hope she attacked her case from both fronts: 1) that Obama was born in Kenya AND 2) that he was adopted as an Indonesian. Anyone know if she did file on both fronts?

  17. sdee Says:

    More research from Leo on Chester Arthur’s “Big Lie”


  18. Foxtrot Says:

    sdee – I read that article. Very interesting, isn’t it? History repeating itself maybe? I certainly hope not.

  19. Al Says:

    Al Says:

    December 6, 2008 at 11:45 pm
    thinkingmom11 Says:

    December 6, 2008 at 11:27 pm
    Yes a real (ugly) kitty…oh well.

    Hey Al.

    Sorry I don’t have much to say today, haven’t been able to stay on my computer for long so I don’t have much of interest to discuss beyond my silly penguin issues so I am going to sign out for a while. I am going to a very cool dinner at a steak house owned by the former Energy Secretary for Ronald Reagan – John Harrington. This is their first night open so it should be very interesting.


    Have a wonderful dining experience, ThinkingMom’. Save room for dessert. Bon Appetit!

  20. sdee Says:

    I think Leo is comparing Himan’s distraction that Arthur was born in Ireland, to Bo’s birth certificate distraction. Waving a red cape of Obama’s birthplace to build a folly that would take the focus off his dual citizenship.

  21. sdee Says:

    Leo found an actual scanned image of Chester Arthur’s father’s naturalization papers! The PDF is on his blog.

  22. sliderblaze Says:

    He everyone, whats new?

  23. sdee Says:

    The similarities between Bo’s and Arthur’s inherited citizenship, and disappearing paper trials, are strange indeed.

    As Leo said in the latest blog “Is this the twilight zone?”

  24. sdee Says:

    Leo says:
    “When Chester runs for VP, Hinman comes along essentially demanding to see Chester’s birth certificate to prove he was born in the United States. This causes a minor scandal easily thwarted by Chester, because Chester was born in Vermont…but at the same time, the fake scandal provides cover for the real scandal”

  25. Al Says:

    Al–hope your little calf found it’s way back to the barn.. kind of late in the season to be calving– didn’ you warn the mother that calves come in the spring? *wink*wink*


    Susan, Susan, Susan–I’ll spar you the Ronald Reagan follow-up because Foxy asked me to refrain from doing it anymore…however, every farmer knows that if and when a bull’s fertility count is lower than 75% than there’s a risk for and is the number one reason for late calves…so, *wink* wink* them apples. Other than that, hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

  26. Al Says:

    Hey Slider!

    Hmmm–sounds like interesting stuff there with the whole Chester Arthur caper, Sdee.

  27. sdee Says:


  28. ddlew Says:

    WOW…Looks like OU and Florida will be playing for the National Championship.

  29. sdee Says:

    Cindy, depending upon Leo the Justices, Palin may be running in 2009 😀

  30. sdee Says:


  31. Al Says:

    sdee Says:

    December 7, 2008 at 4:19 am


    Okay, got that analogy so far. So while everyone is too busy focusing upon “Hawaii”, in the Obama case, the real issue is “dual-citizenship”, correct?

  32. ddlew Says:

    dual citizenship does not = “natural born”

  33. Al Says:

    Congratulations to the University of Florida on their victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide earlier today.

  34. jrinNC Says:

    I posted the below under Ender Thomas (Yanni Voices) and was quite surprised by the responses this generated. I was not able to stick around to hear any results as I had to go to my church to decorate, then to my Uncles to decorate, then to my daughters to decorate – so had a very busy day.

    “jrinNC Says:
    December 6, 2008 at 1:38 pm
    Just wanted to let everyone know about the Electoral College process in NC – not good – but there is a bill trying to change the process, however, it is too late for this year – Anyway here is what I discovered. “North Carolina’s 15 electors are picked by the winning party. They are usually party loyalists. They are supposed to cast their vote to reflect the state’s winner. There is, however, no federal law enforcing that.
    In North Carolina, an unfaithful elector is replaced and fined $500 and his or her vote is canceled.” I wonder how many will become unfaithful??????? ZERO”

    I see where —— “dixieinflorida Says: December 6, 2008 at 2:38 pm states: Incorrect statement. Electors are not replaced and where did you get they are fined? No one knows how they vote to start with, and they can actually vote for the losing VP as the electors on President and Vice President vote on each one and not just the ticket. In other words they could vote for Sarah Palin if they wanted to. Now wouldn’t that be a hoot. Not likely to happen but that is how the electoral college works. Just because they pledge to vote one way they do not have to. 4 times this has happened.”

    Well let me begin by answering as to where I obtained this information. —- I was cleaning my bird cages with old newspapers that I received from the Greensboro/Winston Salem, NC area and ran across an article dated 3 Nov 08 entitled “Electoral College Decides President, Not Popular Vote.” So that is where I received the information.

    I was glad to see others, such as jjones35811 Says: December 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm and justanamericancindy4 Says: December 6, 2008 at 2:48 pm and thinkingmom11 Says: December 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm contributed to this article.

    I would like Dixieinflorida to know —- Apology Accepted. ——
    I am just glad that I was able to contribute something worthwhile.

    I am not normally a blogger, but I have been reading on this site for over two months and felt I could contribute something here as well because there are people here who think like me. I do normally put my source when contributing, but failed to do so in that post. Rest assured that I will remember to put my sources in the future so that if they have been debunked I will welcome the info.

  35. jrinNC Says:

    Angry laid-off workers occupy factory in Chicago
    Saturday, December 6, 2008 7:01 PM EST
    The Associated Press
    By RUPA SHENOY Associated Press Writer

    —-w.myembarq.com/news/read.php?ps=1018&rip_id=%3CD94TH6M80%40news.ap.org%3E&_LT=HOME_LARSDCCLM_UNEWS —–

    “Bank of America received $25 billion from the government’s financial bailout package. The company said in a statement Saturday that it isn’t responsible for Republic’s financial obligations to its employees.” —– Folks, this is only the beginning of worse things yet to come.

  36. Al Says:

    Certainly don’t like hearing about anyone being laid-off, JrinNC, especially during this time of the year.

  37. justanamericancindy4 Says:

    running through the room nakid……

  38. justanamericancindy4 Says:

    lol… Ok got the P.J’s on now 🙂

    what’s been going on?……. i haven’t been able to spend much time here today

  39. sliderblaze Says:


    not sure if this was posted yet or not

  40. sliderblaze Says:

    JAC, you cant come in here and say stuff like that…. 😉

  41. justanamericancindy4 Says:


    but but but….. you didn’t see anything….. i ran too fast..lol

  42. justanamericancindy4 Says:

    cool about orly

  43. sliderblaze Says:

    lol, not fast enough tho….. : )~

    it was nice of the judge to do that, when in doubt PUNT

  44. Troy Says:

    Leo proved, beyond all doubt, that Chester A. Arthur was never legally president and was in fact, the first usurper of the US.


  45. justanamericancindy4 Says:

    I just wish SCOTUS knew exactly now many americans supported this issue

  46. justanamericancindy4 Says:

    Troy,…..I was reading that last night..was very interesting….

  47. Troy Says:

    I wonder if Obama will use the precedent of a criminal imposter as a defense in court.

  48. justanamericancindy4 Says:

    i wouldn’t but past bam bam to try to change the oath of office
    to not include the honoring and protecting the constitution

  49. sliderblaze Says:

    i’m soooo fed up with the internet right now

  50. justanamericancindy4 Says:


    how so?

  51. justanamericancindy4 Says:


    i think Bo and the Dem party have been planning a defence for a long time

  52. sliderblaze Says:

    damn, where should i start, first, its just filled with total nonsense
    second, when you google something like, recently sold homes in 17603,
    1.9 million websites come up, ok, i’m fine with that, except that almost everyone i go on DOESNT HAVE THAT FIELD FOR RECENTLY SOLD HOMES
    third, peoples websites are so poorly designed it rediculous

  53. justanamericancindy4 Says:

    i have at least for now boycotted google

  54. sliderblaze Says:


    yeah cus, we can afford that right now, good idea but, come on…. and using tax payers money to create jobs, how are we gonna pay for that, who’s taxes get raised? i’ll be taking bets

  55. Troy Says:

    New roads and bridges?….As soon as gas prices go back up there won’t be anyone to drive on them….Brilliant!!!

  56. sliderblaze Says:

    Energy, i’m hoping he’s talking about LED and not those mercury bulbs that are made in china

    broadband, arent they working on being able to provide broadband through electrical outlets, why lay all that cable for nothing?

  57. sliderblaze Says:

    i noticed there was no drilling, solar, gas, new pipelines in that energy plan or use of biofuels…..i want my vote back, oh wait, i didnt vote for that guy. i’m suprised he didnt reask us to inflate our tires and get a tune up douche bag

  58. Troy Says:

    According to Sinclair, Obama likes laying cable.

  59. sliderblaze Says:

    OF COURSE, thats why he dont want to lay any pipe, he wants to TAKE IT….

  60. Troy Says:

    Barry says, “mmm…pipe”

  61. sliderblaze Says:

    Schools, is he joking, if past history tells us anything, like, the schools he was suppose to be helping in chicago, OMG, this guy is in charge

  62. ddlew Says:

    justanamericancindy4 Says:
    December 7, 2008 at 6:01 am

    i have at least for now boycotted google

    This is a search engine developed by an original GOOGLE software programmer. Pretty good engine.

    http//www cuil.com/

  63. Troy Says:

    I can’t wait until his impeachment….I can just hear him now, “You can’t impeach me, I’m not even legally president”

  64. sliderblaze Says:

    well, with the trillions that have been spent, why not just give everyone who makes under 75K/yr………….50k……..cars woulda been bought saving the “too big to fail big 3” homes woulda been paid up, durable goods woulda been flying off the shelves….wow, just, wow

  65. sliderblaze Says:

    now that truly would been building the economy from the bottom up, not a 500 dollar check every year, wtf is that gonna do. hell, my child support is 680/month

  66. Troy Says:

    The only way a socialist gov. stays in power is to keep the poor just that, poor and make the middle class become poor.
    The rich get richer and the poor beg the gov. for handouts.

  67. sliderblaze Says:

    i swear, the first reporter who starts suckin his…..over this plan, gets a bitch slap.

  68. Troy Says:

    Well, I hear that Keith Olberman’s teeth fold back if you put a quarter in his ear.

  69. sliderblaze Says:


  70. ddlew Says:


    Check this out!

    It was written twenty years ago about the VERY issue of Leo’s lawsuit.

    http //yalelawjournal.org/images/pdfs/pryor_note.pdf

  71. sliderblaze Says:

    i was wondering how hard it woulda been to just have the banks implement a 45 yr mortgage so people could stay in their homes? the securities would retained value, problem solved?

  72. ddlew Says:

    ddlew Says:
    December 7, 2008 at 6:27 am


    Check this out!

    It was written twenty years ago about the VERY issue of Leo’s lawsuit.

    http //yalelawjournal.org/images/pdfs/pryor_note.pdf


    No (wwww)

  73. sliderblaze Says:

    where did u find that lil gem DD

  74. ddlew Says:

    Through the cuil search engine

  75. Tenacity Says:

    Armed Revolution, withold taxes, Overwhelming Legislative Protest
    Conservatives Have But Three Alternatives

    http: //canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/6622

  76. sliderblaze Says:

    Ha, of course, they have reference in there to a letter i think leo referenced a few times

  77. sliderblaze Says:

    i wonder if any other law review, reviewed such a matter, like, harvard perhaps….hmmmmm

  78. ddlew Says:

    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United
    States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible
    to the Office of President. .

    United States Constitution, article II

    Despite its. apparent simplicity, the natural-born citizen clause of the Constitution” has never been,completely understood. It is well settled that “native-born” citizens, those born in the United States, qualify as natural born.” It is also clear that persons born abroad of alien parents, who later become citizens by naturalization,” do not.”

    But whether a person born abroad of American parents, or of one American and one alien parent,” qualifies/as natural born has never been resolved.” Eligibility for children of American Indians born on reservations, persons born in United States territories, children born on American military bases, and children of United States diplomats stationed abroad is also uncertain.”

    Constitutional scholars have traditionally approached the uncertainty surrounding the meaning of the natural-born citizen clause by inquiring into the specific meaning of the term “natural born” at the time of the Constitutional Convention. They conclude that a class of citizens should be considered natural born today only if they would have been considered natural-born citizens under the law in effect at the time of the framing of the Constitution.”

    The traditional approach has not established the clause’s full and precise meaning, however, because it fails to adequately consider” a critical analytical question that must inform our understanding
    of the constitutional text: What is the proper role for Congress in giving specific content to the natural-born citizen clause? This Note argues
    that the natural-born citizen clause can only be properly understood if we appreciate the interplay of that clause with the naturalization powers
    clause of article 1,10 as modified by section one of the Fourteenth Amendment.11

  79. sliderblaze Says:

    the conclusion didnt make much sense to me at all,

    “This Note’s approach removes the confusion caused by Supreme Court dicta asserting that there are only two classes of citizens, native-born and naturalized. As historical and textual analysis has shown, a citizen may be both “naturalized” and “natural born.” Under the naturalized born approach, any person with a right to American citizenship under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States at the time of his or her birth is a natural-born citizen for purposes of presidential eligibility.

    how can you be natural born, and naturalized at the same time?

  80. sliderblaze Says:


    PEACE!!!!! a shame how the dems were mum on this issue but, i’d expect nothing less of them, Oh wait, yeah i would

  81. ddlew Says:

    sliderblaze Says:
    December 7, 2008 at 6:46 am

    the conclusion didnt make much sense to me at all,

    “This Note’s approach removes the confusion caused by Supreme Court dicta asserting that there are only two classes of citizens, native-born and naturalized. As historical and textual analysis has shown, a citizen may be both “naturalized” and “natural born.” Under the naturalized born approach, any person with a right to American citizenship under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States at the time of his or her birth is a natural-born citizen for purposes of presidential eligibility.

    how can you be natural born, and naturalized at the same time?


    She is basically saying that ANYONE that can claim citizenship under the “naturalization clause” ALSO qualifies as a “Natural-Born” citizen.

    When you combine the arguments from Leo and Berg, you find that not only was Obama not natural-born but (according to Berg) he was not naturalized either.

    Of course the person that wrote the paper was doing so as a matter of her interpretation and opinion.

  82. Tenacity Says:

    I take exception with Ms. Pryor’s analysis. After reading the analysis of Madison, Judah Benjamin and Donofrio, I believe Pryor has missed the mark on the common law at or before the writing of the US Constitution. Anybody know her political bent? Her website gave no indication as to any party affiliation. She is obviously not a Federalist.

  83. Troy Says:

    You know what they say…”Opinions are like A-holes; everybody has one”

  84. Tenacity Says:

    Pryor completed confuses the issues. She sees natural born as a more general term than native born and she even states that natural born is not diametrically opposed to naturalized born. This makes no sense as the most strict meaning should be applied to the highest office in the land. She also completely ignores the concept of divided allegiance. Her view of common law seems to make the context fit her liberal view. Benjamin, Madison and Donofrio have all pointed out evidence within the common law at the time that provides clarity which Pryor denies existed.

  85. justanamericancindy4 Says:

    Morning……. anyone around?

  86. jjones Says:

    I’m awake…. barely

  87. jjones Says:

    Not that we didn’t know this already… seems Like the API thing is a hoax

    third column

  88. rosettasister Says:

    Good morning, America! How are you?!

    New Thread:


  89. peppermintpatty777 Says:

    Good Morning, anyone here?

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