The researchers explain that for another few billion years, the magnetic field will weaken, but it will not disappear completely.
The magnetic field of the Earth plays an important role in our lives in ways that scientists understand or are just beginning to understand. One of the most important functions of the magnetic field is to protect the surface of the planet from the solar particles that could lead to the destruction of any life form.
Over the centuries, the magnetic field has been used for guidance and, as some scientists theorize, it has played an important role in the emergence of biological life on Earth. However, what would be the effects of a sudden disappearance of this barrier?
Scientists quoted by Live Science argue that one of the most visible and immediate effects would be the increase in the number of solar particles that reach the surface of our planet. An important point to make is that, as the researchers explain, we can talk about a decrease in intensity of this field over billions of years and not a sudden disappearance.
Before we talk about the effects of a potential disappearance of the magnetic field, we need to understand what it is and how it works.
Scientists have shown that this magnetic field is fed by iron and molten nickel from the Earth’s core, materials with good electrical conductivity. This mass of molten materials, located inside the Earth, acts as a geodynamic.
The magnetic field can be 4.2 billion years old, according to scientists. However, the reason why the geodynamics was set in motion is not known, one of the working theories being that the impact that created the Moon was responsible for its “starting”.
Dr. John Tarduno, an ex-geophysicist at Rochester University, explains that, over billions of years, the planet’s core will become much larger and processes that maintain the magnetic field will become inefficient and will disappear.
What would a world with a diminished magnetic field look like?
Dr. Tarduno explains that the orientation tools that use the magnetic field would become useless and instead of focusing on the North-South axis would indicate the areas that have the strongest magnetic field.
The aurora borealis and the astral aurora may be visible at lower latitudes. Currently, the two phenomena can be observed at the two poles, but in a scenario where the magnetic fields are much weaker, the solar particles could penetrate the terrestrial atmosphere, producing these phenomena much closer to the Equator.
Communications will also suffer from an increased amount of solar particles. Specifically, these particles will create a series of technical problems for all satellites in orbit. Currently, the South Atlantic Anomaly, a portion where the magnetic field is weaker, causes satellite problems in a similar way.
Scientists explain that a significant increase in the number of solar particles, caused by a decrease in the magnetic field, will also lead to a depletion of the ozone layer over time. The direct implication of this situation is represented by an increase in the number of skin cancer cases.
To date, there is no evidence to lead to the conclusion that the variations of the magnetic field in the past have affected life on Earth, but without it, our atmosphere would reach space due to solar winds.