back to article North will remain North for now, say geo-magnetic boffins

Earth's magnetic field flips from time to time, but boffins are now confident it won't happen again any time soon. Research published April 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) says Earth scientists' assessment of our magnetosphere suggest we're more likely to see a …

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Okay, these are boffins, but still

The scientists have concluded, okay fine. But 780 thousand years since last reversal remains a long time, and a "preparation time" of 250 years means we could be at the start and have no way of knowing it.

Science is pretty good at determining what happened after the fact, but it sucks at forecasting anything outside orbital mechanics.

I'm glad that the scientific view is that a field reversal is not happening now, but I can't help thinking of volcano scientists who say that the mountain is fine, it won't blow tomorrow.

Yeah, well we'll see tomorrow, won't we ?

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FAIL

Re: Okay, these are boffins, but still

You go sit on the edge of the volcano, the rest of us can start building metaphorical roads to aid speedy evacuation if it is needed while providing other, more immediate benefits.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Okay, these are boffins, but still

"Science is pretty good at determining what happened after the fact, but it sucks at forecasting anything outside orbital mechanics."

Global warming forecast models have proved remarkably accurate over the past couple of decades.

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Black Helicopters

well you believed them and there global warming crap .. (it was just the suns maximum )

and now there saying no it's going to be fine ....hmmmm

http://magneticreversal.org/

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FAIL

That's why scientists started using the term climate change as they realised that early assumptions about universal heating were incorrect but that the climate would change. As for the reversal, it's a different kettle of fish to say something strange is happening, it might be a reversal and gathering more data and seeing oh look, this has happened before and a reversal didn't happen.

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Trollface

Wow

"There global warming crap"

Apart from 'their' being the the correct word, plenty of evidence exists that climate change is actually happening, from most of the world. But I bet you think smoking doesn't kill either?

When I studied Geology I was always told time scales were much shorter for the magnetic swap (guess 20 years of science can do that), that and the chandler wobble always kind of freaked me out.

But this is an interesting article that ties them together for you.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/global-warming-is-making-the-earth-tilt-on-its-axis-and-shrinking-india-is-pushing-the-north-pole-a6975611.html

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Re: Wow

"Apart from 'their' being the the correct word, plenty of evidence exists that climate change is actually happening"

As a geologist you'll be aware that climate is always changing as are relative sea levels. The entire climate change debate seems to be between two sides one of which believes that this isn't happening and the other that it is but shouldn't and either we can prevent it or could have except we're too late. Neither PoV seems quite well founded.

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Re: Wow

@ Dr. Syntax - that's four sides. Here are a couple of other sides for you. It's happening but if we try really hard we can avoid the worse but should prepare for what's coming as well. It's happening, people are too selfish and lazy to do much about it but everyone else should avoid piling the crap on and prepare for the eco-problems on a bibical scale that are coming our way in the decades and centuries to come.

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I takes many years for a reversal. Don't believe those BS sites that says it going to flip over like car.

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Re: Wow

yep smoking kills that's the true part of your statement ..

climate change has been around for ever how big and small it is depends on time scale .. from ice age to ice age ?? 10000 yr to 10000 yr ?1000yr 100yr? at every step you would see if different..

one thing we do know is more people die of cold than heat planet wide .

now the earth always tilt's on it axis 40k yrs then you also have the push pull of the other planets in the solar system ,and the movements of the crustal plates would have nothing to do with india ?

if the flip is not going to happen then why would the magnetic poles movement be increasing at a faster and faster rate ?I believe there both heading for Myanmar area of the world .

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"It was just the sun's maximum"

No, no it wasn't:

https://www.space.com/21937-sun-solar-weather-peak-is-weak.html

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Re: Wow

"The entire climate change debate seems to be between two sides one of which believes that this isn't happening and the other that it is but shouldn't and either we can prevent it or could have except we're too late. Neither PoV seems quite well founded."

One is founded in overwhelming observed scientific evidence supported by every major scientific institution on the planet, and over 97% of climate scientists. The other is not.

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Re: Wow

There seem to be a lot of people who've never seen, or at least recognised, raised beaches in Scotland or N Ireland; never seen intertidal peats and sub-fossil forest remains further south nor glaciation features such as drumlins, eskers, kettle-hole lakes, moraines or outwash fans deposited in former ice-dammed lakes in N.England or N Ireland; never heard of the boreal maximum, the medieval warm period or the frost fairs on the Thames. And yet all these and more are real phenomena.

Climate and sea levels really have changed and will continue to do so despite your downvotes. (Downvoting creationists who attribute glacial features to Noah's flood are excused on grounds of not knowing better.)

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Re: Wow

"overwhelming observed scientific evidence"

Overwhelming observed scientific evidence shows that climate has changed back and forth for a very long time. Whatever is done about carbon emissions it will continue to change. We cannot rely on stable climate, nor on fixed sea levels.

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Re: Wow

"raised beaches in Scotland or N Ireland ... intertidal peats"

A nice example of this: Balcary Bay hotel in Scotland. The hotel itself sits on what looks like a low raised beach with a higher one behind it and on the foreshore a shallow peat bed at about high water mark so not quite intertidal but certainly indicative of a relative sea level lower than it is now.

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ohhh my there is a delay ... the earth is a complex place if it reacted in an instance we would not be here

tell you what tell me in 5-10 yrs that the earth is overheating ..

that is if your still here we are in a cooling faze(at least the next 40 yrs) mix that with a polar flip or even a wobble and guess what happens .. at least a 1/3 of the planet go's to sleep

at worst another ice age . if not we will start to warm again and be fine for the next 1000 yrs

we are well over due for many things ..

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Re: Wow

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, all y'all can see similar raised beaches from Pigeon Point to Año Nuevo, and indeed all along the San Mateo and Santa Cruz county coast. Try driving Hwy 1 from Pacifica to Monterey. Take your .sig other, and spend a night on the road. Worth it once in a while. Works as a day-trip, too, but I like to stop and smell the elephant seals.

I suspect this is what you call an "inconvenient truth". Or is that TRVTH?

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Re: Wow

"Overwhelming observed scientific evidence shows that climate has changed back and forth for a very long time. "

Over geological timescales though, not decades like the anthropomorphic warming at the moment.

"Whatever is done about carbon emissions it will continue to change. We cannot rely on stable climate, nor on fixed sea levels."

Without us, they would change over thousands of years, not decades though. Which would give both us and nature time to adjust.

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"that is if your still here we are in a cooling faze"

If you are too stupid to spell phase, you are likely too stupid to understand the science. We should be in a cooling phase into the next ice age. However the planet is rapidly warming due to our emissions of CO2:

http://assets.climatecentral.org/images/uploads/gallery/2017EarthDay_TempAndCO2_en_title_lg.jpg

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Re: Wow

"Overwhelming observed scientific evidence shows that climate has changed back and forth for a very long time."

Sure. But lets put that in perspective: https://xkcd.com/1732/

"Whatever is done about carbon emissions it will continue to change. We cannot rely on stable climate, nor on fixed sea levels."

Those are rapidly changing due to us. If we were not warming the planet then they would change over thousands of years across ice ages. Not like now across decades due to anthropomorphic global warming.

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Re: Wow

"one thing we do know is more people die of cold than heat planet wide"

Nope: "Heat waves are the most lethal type of weather phenomenon, overall"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_wave

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Be prepared!

the timescale would be so long people would have time to prepare

Well, the timescale for climate change is quite long, we've known about it for decades, but preparation? By most world governments? Have any of them done anything serious? They'll wait until the floods are up to their grandchildren's knees before doing anything. All the pressure for action is coming from individuals, particularly the ones who can't afford to move to high ground.

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Re: Be prepared!

Exactly what I was going to comment.

Going on the current model, you could expect 200+ years of science deniers and populist idiots stating that "scientists don't agree" and "more research is required," followed by a completely avoidable, multi-generation catastrophe.

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Re: Be prepared!

There are even possible correlations with climate changes. There's a theory that cosmic rays can produce cloud condensation nuclei or CCNs, leading to changes in cloud cover, precipitation and weather. So if our magnetic field declines, that may have more of an impact. The SAA's potentially an interesting place to observe that, but I suspect challenging given that's mostly over ocean.

But there's also the potential for shorter term events like the Carrington Event in 1859, which was a large CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) that damaged power and communications. A repeat would be far more damaging today, and there's a realisation that protecting against CMEs would be a good thing. But an expensive challenge.

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Re: Be prepared!

By most world governments? Have any of them done anything serious?

Well the UK government is busily shutting down most reliable forms of power generations, whilst exorting people to drive electric cars, drawing up plans for a gas boiler ban when there's no affordable, reliable technology anywhere near ready to apply across UK housing stock, and throwing money at all manner of international climate change activities, hurling subsidies form tax or customer bills at all manner of daft schemes to promote the cause of "carbon reduction". Every single policy and government department needs a "climate change" dimension (including the MoD and DoH), and barely a quarter goes by without British officials flying somewhere to take part in a climate change conference, and to preach the cause to other nations, or to conceive some new and daft scheme to reduce carbon emissions (the promotion of diesel cars was a real win for the climate, was it not?).

How much more would you like them to be doing?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Be prepared!

You forgot the bit about them also closing down the only national gas storage facility that, IIRC, could hold enough for ~4 days of typical winter-time usage.

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Re: Be prepared!

"Well, the timescale for climate change is quite long, we've known about it for decades, but preparation?"

Moving most of the planet's coastal cities to higher ground will take decades at least.

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I wonder what the odds makers have to say on the subject.

Might be worth dropping a C note or ten in the hopes of making the descendants a little wealthier than they would be otherwise ... Normally I shy away from the likes of Lost Wages (I'll start gambling when they start gambling), but this kind of "investment" amuses me for some reason.

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Anonymous Coward

if it does flip I'm keeping me gravy and whippets.

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We'll have to adopt something from the south, seeing as we'll be the new southerners.

Beer with no head?

Gravy that flows like a liquid?

Wearing a coat when the mercury in the thermometer hasn't even frozen solid?

I for one am glad this event has been put off.

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I am SO looking forward to ...

... selling coats (AC units) to people who think that the temperature where they live will somehow be greatly affected by a magnetic field reversal. Especially the kind of people who think that somehow Blighty will suddenly have the same climate as Perth and vice versa.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I am SO looking forward to ...

We don't have coats up north, if thee sees us getin coats out we have more pressing problems like an incoming ice age to worry about.

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Re: I am SO looking forward to ...

The joke ( henceforth ruined by explanation ) is that northerners don't wear coats unless it's baltic.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/12/11/11/4736BE4F00000578-5167045-image-m-58_1512993239293.jpg

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Re: I am SO looking forward to ...

Who is joking? I'm beginning to think I should cast my morals aside and start making a buck off of ignorance and mass hysteria.

Next year, I'm planning on selling gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO, unfiltered, organically grown xmas trees with no tree nuts, ground nuts or BPAs. I did a little quiet test marketing this last Marketing Season (December), and the rubes lapped 'em up at 10x the markup of regular dead evergreens ...

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Coat

"Wearing a coat when the mercury in the thermometer hasn't even frozen solid?"

Here in the Great Southern Land, I wear a coat when the temperature gets below 25 C.

I'll get my coat, it's 2 AM, and 25 C right now, not getting any warmer until after sunrise.

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Anonymous Coward

"We'll have to adopt something from the south, seeing as we'll be the new southerners."

Civilisation?

Working for a living?

The English language?

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Civilisation? That's for southern nancies who can't spend more than an hour in the pub without having to go for a lie down.

Working for a living? Liverpool is a special case. Us northerners don't like it either. It isn't representative of the rest of us.

The English Language? I think you'll find you random 'r' placement ( eg: glarse for glass ) is a Prussian import because you shandy drinking southerners thought you were being clever. Fortunately it didn't spread to Birmingham and beyond.

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Anonymous Coward

"The English Language? I think you'll find you random 'r' placement ( eg: glarse for glass )"

He would likely mean Received Pronounciation as true English. And it still sounds more like glarse than northern lingo seems to cope with.

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Facepalm

Now they've gone and done it!

The fact that the magnetoboffins have come out and said that it definitely wont be happening any time soon has surely increased the odds of it happening?

That's how these forecasting things work isnt it?

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Re: Now they've gone and done it!

Have an upvote for "magnetoboffins".

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PK
Alert

So what happens if...

...the overdue magnetic flip, the overdue yosemite super volcano and my overdue library book all happen at the same time?

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Re: So what happens if...

@PK

If it's that sort of day, you'll probably get a parking ticket outside the library as well...

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Re: So what happens if...

I think you'll find the Yosimite volcano has moved north a bit to Yellowstone.

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PK

Re: So what happens if...

Whoops, always getting muddled on US geography :-)

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Re: So what happens if...

I think you'll find that the Yosemite volcano has moved about 40 miles East, to Long Valley (see also the Wiki article). The Long Valley caldera is probably the biggest threat to humanity that nobody has ever heard of, with a threat potential of "Very High". Yellowstone is about 650mi NE of Yosemite, and has a "normal" alert level.

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Re: So what happens if...

Whoops, always getting muddled on US geography :-)

But not as muddled as Merkins on most matters of global geography.

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Re: So what happens if...

Oh, pu-lease, really? How about a little dose of reality, Ledswinger? This "Merkin" has lived in the British Isles for roughly a fifth of his life, and has observed that overall you lot aren't exactly knowledgeable on matters as far away as Hull.

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Re: So what happens if...

"...the overdue magnetic flip, the overdue yosemite super volcano and my overdue library book all happen at the same time?"

The good news is you get to keep the book.

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Re: So what happens if...

Downvote for being a merkin.

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