It is well-know that the Earth’s magnetic field is weakening at a dramatic rate, and this seems to be a recurring phenomenon that usually lasts around 1000 years, contrary to common knowledge, our planet’s magnetic field doesn’t only give us our south and north poles, it is also responsible from protecting our world from the huge deadly solar storms and cosmic radiation.
But now, the scientists have detected that this field is rapidly weakening at an alarming rate, which can be an early sign that the Earth’s magnetic poles can be now reversing, and although this might seem odd, this actually happened already sometimes in the past, being the last registered event, around 780 000 years ago, and according to the scientists, it almost happened again 40 000 years ago.
The polarity reversal is a slowly process that takes place over a period of some thousands of years, but since there are no hard data about such events, we are not entirely sure about the duration and intensity of such events.
The region formed between Chile an Zimbabwe, known to scientists as South Atlantic Anomaly, is the region that is giving bigger concerns to the scientists by the moment, since the field is very very weak around that zone, that there’s actually a risk for the Earth’s satellites to emit very high radiation through there, possibly rendering the electronic devices on our planet useless.
According to the scientists, around 1000 years ago, a group of ancient Africans, known as the Bantu who lived in the Limpopo River Valley, between the borders of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, to fight the drought, performed some rituals where they burned down clay huts and grain bits, not knowing at all, that the rite would gave some data for the scientists to work with in the future.
When they burned the clay at such high temperatures, they involuntarily stabilized the magnetic minerals, locking in them in the cooling process, a representation of the Earth’s magnetic field, and when the scientists analyzed the data present on the ancient artifacts, they found out signs of similar magnetic events as we are now experiencing in the same region, and since they detected a recurring pattern, we know now that there’s some kind of oddity in Earth’s mantle beneath the African region, which may be influencing our global magnetic field.
There’s a huge high density rock reservoir beneath Africa, which is thought to be the reason for these weakening of the field, which is located at a depth of around 2900 kilometers, which is probably millions of years old, and since it is located between Earth’s liquid iron core, and its cooler mantle, it may be causing this anomaly.