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The Next Big Event

garymrssn

The scientific community has made it clear that a reversal of the earth's magnetic poles is inevitable. They just don't know when. As the research matures they will start predicting a time-frame.
When the worlds population begins to react some of those in power will begin to foment denial movements in order to give themselves more time to secure their own financial and physical survival.
A story that captures the political and financial intrigue, military actions and religious reactions might be something to get an authors long-term muse interested in. It might make a good allegory.
A shorter story could focus on the time just preceding the event or post event. From my research it has the potential to be apocalyptic. You could probably get away with making it as apocalyptic as you desire.

This, like my other story suggestions, is just a seed. It might grow and it might not. I'll look for a story when/if I see one coming. But I wont quit planting seeds. ;)

Replies:   Geek of Ages
Geek of Ages

@garymrssn

I'm pretty sure the reversal of the magnetic poles isn't going to be like, a cataclysm or anything. We'll have to change out our compasses, but beyond that...maybe the magnetic field becomes thinner, so we're more prone to CMEs and such?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Geek of Ages

I'm pretty sure the reversal of the magnetic poles isn't going to be like, a cataclysm or anything.


From what I've read, the reversal is not instantaneous. Navigation isn't the big problem. Most navigation is by done by satellite locating these days, so it won't cause much if any disruption to commercial navigation.

The real problem is that the field strength of the earth's magnetic field fluctuates severely during the process, potentially dropping all the way to zero at times. Since that magnetic field protects us from a number of different kinds of very dangerous forms of radiation, there could be issues there.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

From what I've read, the reversal is not instantaneous. Navigation isn't the big problem. Most navigation is by done by satellite locating these days, so it won't cause much if any disruption to commercial navigation.


Electromagnetic fields also play havoc with CRTs and many forms of data storage. But then, who uses a CRT these days? Magnetic Data Storage is another matter, but the SSHDs are negating that.

Mostly the big thing on the pole flip is we're not entirely sure what will happen, or exactly how it will play out(such as time frame). We do know that a period of little to no magnetic flux will happen, which depending on what the sun is doing around the same time could be really bad.

CME heading to Earth + disappeared Magnetosphere = not fun.

More incentive to get a self-sufficient colony running on Mars, and possibly a few other places around the solar system as well. (And beyond if possible)

Geek of Ages

@Not_a_ID

To be fair, a strong CME that scores a direct hit on Earth is goin g to wreak havoc regardless of the strength of our magnetosphere.

It's just that a weaker one makes things like CMEs potentially more damaging.

richardshagrin

Things like cosmic rays will make living at higher altitude (like Denver, for example) less fun.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

CME heading to Earth + disappeared Magnetosphere = not fun.


Actually, forget CMEs, the normal solar wind and background cosmic radiation would be quite dangerous to life in general without the Earth's magnetosphere.

sejintenej

Geologists claim to have found conclusive proof that the poles have flipped in the past but everything I have read suggests that it seemed to be pretty quick.

The north magnetic pole is moving every year but pretty slowly - according to my OS map 3 mils or 9 minutes per annum difference in deviation from London UK

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

Geologists claim to have found conclusive proof that the poles have flipped in the past but everything I have read suggests that it seemed to be pretty quick.


You have to understand that geologists normally deal in time frames of millions of years. Something that takes 2 or 3 centuries to complete is "pretty quick" to a geologist.

Not_a_ID

You have to understand that geologists normally deal in time frames of millions of years. Something that takes 2 or 3 centuries to complete is "pretty quick" to a geologist.


This. The evidence on the pole flip being a real thing is reasonably established and has been for years. What isn't established is the how and why behind it. And as that isn't known, trying to figure out what is going to happen during such an event is anybody's guess.

At least until we get a chance to see a planet reverse its magnetic poles. Hopefully our first such encounter with that event will involve a planet that isn't Earth.

garymrssn
Updated:

Here is a link to some recent research on the subject.

Note: Rather heavy reading.

https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/3328/a-planet-hangs-in-the-balance-what-about-an-impending-geomagnetic-reversal-or-excursion-looking-at-t#articles

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

CME heading to Earth + disappeared Magnetosphere = not fun.

More incentive to get a self-sufficient colony running on Mars, and possibly a few other places around the solar system as well. (And beyond if possible)

Yeah, because the radiation shielding on Mars is so much stronger than it is on Earth! 'D

Replies:   garymrssn  Dominions Son
garymrssn
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


@Not_a_ID

CME heading to Earth + disappeared Magnetosphere = not fun.

More incentive to get a self-sufficient colony running on Mars, and possibly a few other places around the solar system as well. (And beyond if possible)

@Crumbly Writer

Yeah, because the radiation shielding on Mars is so much stronger than it is on Earth! 'D


The technology necessary for the survival of a Mars colony just happens to be the same technology we'll need to survive a magnetospheric catastrophe on Earth. How convenient! ;)

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Yeah, because the radiation shielding on Mars is so much stronger than it is on Earth! 'D


Mars has less atmospheric and magnetic shielding, true, but distance is also a shield against radiation and Mars is further from the sun.

The intensity of radiation from the sun (this would include a CME) falls off proportionally to 4 times the square of the distance from the sun.

Think of the wave front of radiation from the sun as a sphere, the surface area of a sphere is 4(pi)r^2

Earth is 92.96 million miles from the sun and Mars is 141.6 million miles from the sun.

A sphere at Mars orbit has 2.3 times more surface area than a sphere at Earth orbit so radiation from the sun is less than half as intense.

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