APR 08, 2018 6:03 PM PDT

How A Polar Flip Would Impact the Earth

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


The Earth has both a North and Sound pole, but what would happen if they flipped positions? According to planetary scientists, the result wouldn't be pretty.

The Earth's magnetic field is what shields all life on our planet from harmful cosmic radiation. If a polar flip occurred, then scientists say the effectiveness of Earth's natural shielding from cosmic radiation could weaken by up to 90%, making life more susceptible to cancer and other adverse side-effects.

Apart from these apparent difficulties for life on our planet, a polar flip could also introduce issues for our power grid. Charged particles entering Earth's atmosphere could fry electronics and wreak havoc on the tools we use every day in our lives. These include computers, smartphones, and even the devices governments use for national security.

In a somewhat alarming wakeup call, scientists say that we're long overdue for a polar flip. This phenomenon used to occur once every 300,000 years in Earth's past, but so far the planet has gone more than 700,000 years since its last flip.

Given that food for thought, a polar flip could occur any time, but scientists don't yet know how to predict when it will happen.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 15, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 15, 2019
Eagle vs. Octopus
The animal food chain is somewhat straightforward, with larger animals often hunting smaller animals in an attempt to ensure their own survival. Unfortunat...
JAN 13, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 13, 2020
An Albatross Mother's Work is Never Done
Albatross chicks are naturally flightless, and this increases their dependence on their parental units to bring back food for them to eat. In this chick&rs...
JAN 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 20, 2020
SpaceX Demos Crew Dragon Launch Escape for NASA
SpaceX is one of two major players in NASA’s Commercial Crew program, an attempt to use third-party space companies to bring crewed space launches ba...
FEB 04, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 04, 2020
World Health Organization Outlines Strategy to Eradicate Cervical Cancer
Today—World Cancer Day—the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a draft of a global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer as a public heal...
FEB 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 10, 2020
Learn How NASA Suppresses the Loud Sounds of a Rocket Launch
When a large chemical rocket’s engines ignite, they produce thousands, if not millions, of pounds of thrust. This much power is necessary to loft the...
FEB 13, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 13, 2020
Equations for Chaos: A Mathematic Paradox
Equations are ordered, elegant mathematical constructs used to describe specific patterns. Can you imagine some formulas depict the very opposite: chaos an...
Loading Comments...