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Magnetic Poles May Be About To Flip

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the still-time-to-buy-ammo dept.

Science 721

AGD writes "According to the Guardian, Earth's magnetic field - the force that protects us from deadly radiation bursts from outer space - is weakening dramatically. . The article goes on to say 'Earth's magnetic field has disappeared many times before -- as a prelude to our magnetic poles flipping over, when north becomes south and vice versa.'"

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I remember seeing this on sightings years ago... (3, Funny)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636289)

The date for the flip will be 5/5/2005, according to Sightings.

Re:I remember seeing this on sightings years ago.. (3, Insightful)

26199 (577806) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636312)

'Could be in the next 1000 years', according to the article...

A little less concerning :-)

nope (5, Insightful)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636315)

There can be no particular date.
The change will be gradual, with about a thousand years of no field. But I wont worry about it. There is no precedent of extinction due to pole reversal.
If primitive beings could survive so can we. There must be some mechanism by which the earth wards of the effects. Maybe some thing in ionosphere. It kind of difficult to beleive that something which couldnt make anything extinct 250000 years ago will do it now on a species which spends most of its life under radiation shields(read buildings)

Re:nope (4, Insightful)

nick-less (307628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636341)

If primitive beings could survive so can we.

you mean "we, the people living in industrial countries"?

Re:nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636433)

Well its not like slashdot is quite as popular in the third world.

Re:nope (3, Interesting)

bjwest (14070) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636438)

Who knows what effect this will have on our electronic dependent society. Computers are so intergrated with our way of life, I doubt we'd all survive just the loss of them.

Re:nope (2)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636446)

A lot of places in this world don't have computers, and those people survive just fine.

FIRST (-1, Offtopic)

packeteer (566398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636292)

POST

First lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636294)

If the magnetic field vanishes, surely our compasses will stop working?

Re:First lost (1)

matttastic (613925) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636343)

*STANDS UP AND STARTS CLAPPING* well, they'll stop "working" while it flips, but when it's over they'll work, just backwards.

Re:First lost (1)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636400)

I hope I can get a firmware upgrade for my compass, when this happens.

Bring on the open-hardware compasses!

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636295)

fresh toast.

Holy Shit! (0, Offtopic)

JuiceRat00 (566508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636296)

OMG I hope they figure out when this happens so I can jump at the last second to avoid getting smashed.

Re:Holy Shit! (1)

shtarker (621355) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636448)

That won't save you! It's duck and cover, duck and cover!

compass business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636297)

i thought south was finally due to be north, should i start making reverse compasses?

i hereby patent the above idea.

Newsflash: (0, Offtopic)

Mac Nazgul (196332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636300)

In related news, the Earth's computer systems imploded after they began to run backward.

Re:Newsflash: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636329)

You think that we can pull a scam on businesses similiar to Y2K? I could use the extra cash.

Hrmm (5, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636306)

How is santa going to navigate under those conditions?

perhaps he better upgrade rudolph.

Re:Hrmm (1)

dincubus (526920) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636347)

just as long as he doesn't upgrade rudolph to XP or 2000. if he does, then we're all screwed. by the time he would end up loading and converting the good girls and boys database, as well as the bad boys and girls database.. the entire christmas holiday will be gone and quite possibly new years as well

Re:Hrmm (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636381)

I'm sure Santa has a deceant GPS unit. :)

Re:Hrmm (1)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636412)

" I'm sure Santa has a deceant GPS unit. :)"

Given that the GPS sats would be taken out by the EM blast, he'd still be lost.

graspee

Re:Hrmm (1)

shtarker (621355) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636441)

Woah there the article said gradually filp and reverse. It didn't mention anything about gigantic EM blasts disabeling the north pole.
But his GPS would still be rendered useless by the ionosphere disabeling all low earth satelites.

Re:Hrmm (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636392)

Never mind Santa, how will I navigate. Will I be coming or going after the poles flip ?

Is it time... (1, Funny)

n08ody (162000) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636307)

to call my hero Bruce Willis?

Good news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636309)

Why is it, I only just fall out of bed and switch on my computer, and this is the headline I am greeted with.

Damn, its good to be alive.

I remember this from a few months ago (5, Informative)

humming (24596) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636310)

And here is the link: Poles are about to shift [newscientist.com]

ZetaTalk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636422)

Crackpot, yes, but where do they get those ideas... ZetaTalk [zetatalk.com] .

Photo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636314)

The effects of a pole switch can be seen here [k12.ca.us] . For your convenience it includes both a Summer and Winter view.

Wildebeest (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636318)

In addition, many species of migrating animals and birds - from swallows to wildebeests - rely on innate abilities to track Earth's magnetic field. Their fates are impossible to gauge.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Could this be the end of the GNU project?!

What about this Pole Shift? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636319)

..about time (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636321)

It's been looming for a long time now - we're about 10,000 years over due.

Scientists study volcanic rocks, and see which way their poles are aligned. Over time, there have been quite a few flips, and stages where there has been no field at all.

Interesting to see what qill happen to a culture that depends on magnetic polarity..

Re:..about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636334)

We don't depend on magnetic polarity from the polls, even navigation doesn't rely on it

Re:..about time (1)

VortexVertigo (541172) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636361)

I'm also curious as to the practical effects on the environment a pole shift would have. Apparently, life has survived such things before, but how smooth was the ride?

Re:..about time (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636401)

It's an interesting point you raise.
As you say, evidently life did survive. But if the last switch was 700k+ years ago, I doubt they had such a dependance on technology as we do.

The sheer scale of repercussions of this are truly staggering... just wait till the media gets hold of it, y2k fever all over again :)

Ooh, pretty! (1)

JesusPGT (624264) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636322)

Man, with no magnetic field, we'll prolly have some kick-ass looking auroras all over the planet. The boiling atmosphere thing doesn't sound quite as fun though. =/

Will life survive again? (3, Insightful)

ensignyu (417022) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636323)

I'm wondering: how did life survive the other dozens of other times the pole flipped?

What can humans do, besides burrowing or mutating?

Suddenly, global warming (the artificially-induced kind) doesn't seem like that big of a long-term threat.

Re:Will life survive again? (4, Troll)

phaze3000 (204500) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636428)

Suddenly, global warming (the artificially-induced kind) doesn't seem like that big of a long-term threat.

Except that the magnetic pole shift is likely to happen sometime in the next 1000 years or so. Global warming has the potential to wipe out humans prior to this time.

would make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636324)

Has anyone thought that humans have been 'polluting' the earth's magnetic poles with massive magnetically-disturbing installations for a while now? Electro-magnetic pollution from electrical-usage anyone? Why haven't we thought of this before?

Re:would make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636409)

Did you read the article?

Can the sun do it, we should too (5, Informative)

humming (24596) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636325)

The sun does this every 11 years.

Sun does a flip [nasa.gov] . You can also follow the link there to [nasa.gov]
Earths magnetic reversal

Adverts flipping into News Stories (2)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636326)

Scientsists today reported an increase in activity in the craze of turning PR buff into hard News.

"Slipping in a bit of PR buff here and there seemed so easy at first, I mean, they did all the reasearch for me. All I had to do was customize it for our readers but soon I couldn't stop myself", said one Newspaper Reporter.

Down under... not any more! (5, Funny)

farfisa69 (526335) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636330)

Australia will become on top of the world and no longer the "arse end of the world". We rule!

Re:Down under... not any more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636439)

Let's hope it improves the taste of your beer.

Re:Down under... not any more! (5, Funny)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636440)

Tell it as it is brother! Finally we'll get to condescendingly refer to Europeans and Americans as "down under".

Oh how I wait for such things.

Re:Down under... not any more! (2, Interesting)

vstanescu (522393) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636451)

Or may be we will just start to consider the South to be the top of the world, instead of North, so we will keep Europe and North America on top as it is meant to be.. ;-)

Climatic disturbance (5, Interesting)

stefanvt (75684) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636332)

The effects could be catastrophic. Powerful radiation bursts, which normally never touch the atmosphere, would heat up its upper layers, triggering climatic disruption.
Seeing as the climate has been changing rapidly in the last hundred years. Could it also be a result of the declining magnetic field?

Re:Climatic disturbance (4, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636352)

Could be, could be. I remember seeing a plot over time of exceptional weather conditions vs. solar activity, and they showed a strong relationship. A weaker magnetic field would increase this influence even further.

Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636411)

Pumping shit into the atmosphere for something like 150 years now has had nothing to do with it?

Re:Climatic disturbance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636358)

You may be right, but I'd like to add that the climate has been undergoing change for the previous 1000 years. The sahara as we know it was created, and Greenland became too cold for words. Then there was the mini ice-age, and now things are warming up. It's probably a combination of factors.

OK, so we're all doomed (5, Funny)

forged (206127) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636450)

Then screw global warming. I'm buying that SUV :->

Pfft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636337)

I wouldn't worry folks, one would imagine that in a few years the technology to take space shuttle up and get Bruce Willis to blow the sun will be available.

Is it just me or does hollywood have to buy in to every doom prophecy to make a poor action movie about it?

Re:Pfft. (2)

nurightshu (517038) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636370)

I wouldn't worry folks, one would imagine that in a few years the technology to take space shuttle up and get Bruce Willis to blow the sun will be available.

I imagine that it would be difficult to shield Bruce's lips from the intense heat...(rimshot)

So... (2)

Squareball (523165) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636338)

So are we all going to die from this or not?

Re:So... (2)

Sarin (112173) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636350)

No, only the people who were unfortunately enough to stay on earth.

oh wait a minute..

Re:So... (0, Offtopic)

dincubus (526920) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636351)

more than likely we would get a good suntan. but aside from that.. i am not too nervous about it. what i am more nervous about is the fact that bill gatus of borg setting up and gaining a contract to basically network the new class of aircraft carriers the US navy is building.. doe that make anyone else nervous that a weapons platform is infested with windows 2000 and could possibly be open to a hack attack?

That's enough (5, Funny)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636340)

I'm fed up with these xenophobic jokes about those crazy Poles and how they are always 'about to flip'.

Re:That's enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636395)

d00d you is teh funny!
ach, i shoulda kept those mod points i gots yesterday :)

This might fix the ozone layer! (2)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636342)

I could be wrong but wasnt the ozone layer formed due to cosmic radiation impacting our O2 atoms and combining them into O3?
This might just fix our ozone hole!

Business model (5, Funny)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636344)

1. Buy 10,000 compasses
2. Scratch out N, S, E, W
3. Replace with (in same order) S, N, W, E
4. Sell on eBay
5. Profit!!!

Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636353)

...and if there is no shift, what then?
Who are you going to prosecute? God Allmighty? :)

Re:Sure... (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636397)

" ...and if there is no shift, what then?
Who are you going to prosecute? God Allmighty? :)"


I'll lobby your congresscritters of course. Obviously, if my business model isn't working, it HAS to be the fault of those dirty rotten hackers/file traders/terrorists/communists/pick-whatever-group- you-like's.

With problems like this, legislation should always be the solution.

Re:Business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636382)

S, N, E, W ?

Re:Business model (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636390)

Well, you wouldn't change anything then! It would have to be S,N,E,W. If you had a dot.com somewhere in there, you would have been a true dotcom billionaire!

I mean, you did get modded 4 for this, so, in real life, you would have been rich!

Re:Business model (4, Funny)

oever (233119) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636416)

I mean, you did get modded 4 for this, so, in real life, you would have been rich!

Using "n) Profit!" in a post ensures an average mod up of 3.

Get real! (5, Interesting)

Fyz (581804) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636354)

First off: we are not all gonna die. It has been 800,000 years since the last time the poles flipped. At that time, our ancestors were walking around, munching on wooly mammoths an giant sloths, etc., armed with such amazing modern tech as sharpened flint and fire. If they can take it, so can we.

Second, we have very little knowledge about how the poles are going to switch. There seems to be two options:
1. The poles are going to disappear, then reappear on opposite sides of the planet.
2. The poles will migrate over the face of the earth until they have effectively flipped over.

However, as geophysics usually shows us, there is a third, and much more complicated option, that is more likely. Simply put, the poles will weaken, and then split up into smaller magnetic zones, which will then wander all over the surface in an extremely complicated manner, and then coalesce on the oppposite sides. If you think this is a crackpot idea, you should check out past issues of Nature.
I'll also point out that no one really knows how the planet's magnetic field is generated. It is DEFINATELY not analogous to a regular bar magnet, because the core of the earth is much too hot to sustain magnetization of iron.

Re:Get real! (5, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636404)

In many respects, a simpler culture is far more resilient than a complex one. Increasing the complexity is a bit like walking up a mountain - the safe area to walk on gets smaller the higher you go up. Consider the magnetic flip to be a huge hand reaching down and translocating you a distance horizontally... would you prefer to be higher up the mountain (wheeeeee.....ouch) or farther down ?

In (slightly) more scientific terms, the advances we've made since those cavemen times are built on the premise of incremental change - we talk of "advances", ie: building on the past to get farther. Take away the foundations (communications is the major one, I guess, direction finding, etc.) and see how well everything that depends on them copes. Consider how an economy might react to (for example: the collapse of air traffic), and the subsequent secondary effects. None of this was even slightly worrying to the caveman, but our world is immensely dependent on excellent long-distance communications.

Yes, we have a far and away more complex civilisation than a caveman ever dreamed of. This is a weakness, not a strength. The payoff comes from what we can do with that technology, but if you remove that, you end up with a lot of hungry people in a small space...

I concur with the physics, btw, but you're really overestimating the resilience of our civilisation.

Simon.

Re:Get real! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636425)

I think that the author contended that humanity would survive, no necessarily that our civilisation would survive along with it.

Re:Get real! (4, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636436)

Direction finding is becoming more and more based on GPS than anything. GPS has nothing to do with the magnetic field. It disappearing wouldn't cause it to fail at all.

The same goes for communications with the exception of possible solar flare interference periodically.

It seems to me that while the pole disappearing/changing could cause significant change it isn't a showstopper for much of anything except the use of all current compasses and perhaps sunbathing.

Re:Get real! (5, Interesting)

Fyz (581804) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636445)

Of course, this will all be complete speculation, since our civilization has never actually been put to "the test".
Cavemen were subject to any number of extinction threats that we don't really worry much about in our society. We aren't really worried about regional drought, flooding, forest fires, disease, predators, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. Maybe worried is not the right word, but we don't face extinction because of these things. Also, the rise of technology has put us in a place where we have a chance of survival in places undreamed of by cavemen.
It's true what you say about a lot of hungry people in a small space, but in situations like that, a given population will max out at some saturation point where death- and birthrates even out.
Anyway, I wasn't really talking about our civilization's survival chance, just that "THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END!" is paranoia, since it 's happened about 2000 times since our prehistorical ancestors crawled from the ocean.

Re:Get real! (2)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636413)

"It has been 800,000 years since the last time the poles flipped. At that time, our ancestors were walking around, munching on wooly mammoths an giant sloths, etc., armed with such amazing modern tech as sharpened flint and fire. If they can take it, so can we."

Are you sure? I thought humans were born 200.000 years ago, not 800.000.

Re:Get real! (2)

Fat Casper (260409) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636443)

Are you sure? I thought humans were born 200.000 years ago, not 800.000.

And "civilisation" is only about 30,000 years old. Who said we're 10,000 years overdue? The movie ad, er, article said it's tended to happen every 250,000 or so and hasn't happened for 800,000. Must be new math.

Re:Get real! (2, Informative)

Fyz (581804) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636449)

Yes, but they weren't born by rocks; Homo Erectus or Homo Habilis were also tool-users, right?

Re:Get real! (1)

Bas_Wijnen (523957) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636427)

First off: we are not all gonna die.

No, we're not all going to die. But you don't need much imagination to see that maybe most of us are going to. That's how it works in evolution. You breed a lot, some disaster happens, almost everyone dies, but there are some that survive and they breed on and the story repeats (unless noone survives, which happens to all species at some point)

The fact that the cavemen survived as a species doesn't mean they were having a nice time when it happened.

The HAB Theory (1, Interesting)

boustrophedon (139901) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636357)

This prediction mirrors the plot of Allan W. Eckert's novel, The HAB Theory [habtheory.com] . In his amazon.com customer review [amazon.com] , Samson Moy from Hong Kong nicely summarizes the HAB theory:
In a nutshell, the HAB Theory presented the fact that because of the eccentricity of the North and South Poles to the magnetic poles, it created an imbalance in the rotation of the earth. When this imbalance reached a stage where it overcame the gyroscopic effect of the earth's rotation, the earth would see a near 90 degree shift of its axis of rotation. The result of which would mean that the poles ended up in the equator and the result would be catastrophic to any life form. This phenomenon occured once every 3000 to 7000 years in the past. The last roll over occurred more than 7000 years ago.

When the poles shift in the novel, the best chance for survival is at the pivot points--locations halfway between the old and new poles.

Particle accelerators (1)

Azahar (113797) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636360)

I am no physicist but surely the particle accelerators would annihilate themselves if used in the wrong hemisphere once the magnetic poles had flipped. I wonder what would happen if they were used in that brief (hopefully it will be brief) period where there is no polarity at all. Of course the physicists will be busy doing other things if that happens.

The Mayan calendar (4, Funny)

jedigeek (102443) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636363)

I've heard the pole switching theory linked with the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012.

Although, it could just be that the people who came
up with this couldn't think of any other reasons the world might end.

See An End of Days [artideas.com]

Right about ..... (2)

GroovBird (209391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636366)

Scientists have discovered that its strength has dropped precipitously over the past two centuries and could disappear over the next 1,000 years.

In can hear Lara Croft's sexy voice saying "Perhaps not just yet then!"

I'm sure it has something to do with (5, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636368)

all the iron ore removed from the Earth to make SUV's - it always does, by some twisted quirk of logic, involve a major corporate conspiracy by a vast multinational like ShellOil or something employing millions of otherwise homeless people. Lord knows we need lots more homeless so that has-been celebrities and pseudo-geoscientists can jumpstart their flagging media careers amongst the bored teenager demographic.

Obviously fake news... (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636373)

Hollywood has not produced any disaster movies where the Earth is destroyed by the lack of our magnetic shield, therefore I am not too concerned about the possibility. If there were a serious threat, they would have made it into a film, simple as that.

Editors, please do proper research before posting such unscientific articles.

Re:Obviously fake news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636399)

If you RTFA you will see it mentions "The Core" which is a Hollywood movie.
You is teh st00pid.

Re:Obviously fake news... (2)

ShawnDoc (572959) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636408)

Did you read the article? The movie comes out next year.

Hollywood? (5, Interesting)

tcdk (173945) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636376)

Is just me or did that article turn a bit surreal when hollywood was dragged in to it?

A hand full of paragraphs on what may possible the End of Civilisation as We Know it (tm), ending in a halfway upbeat solution presented in a hollywood movie.

My first thought as that this simple was a planted story to sell the movie.

One more argument for moving into space (1)

Eminence (225397) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636377)

This is one more argument - besides processes like declining ecosystem, global warming and rising number of people and threats of meteorite hit - for thinking seriously about moving into Space in the comming centuries. It's obvious that humans as species - and a civilization - can survive in the long run only by leaving Earth, our cradle.

The more we learn about Earth and its past the more we realize how unstable this place really is. It's just a brief moment of relative stability that allowed us to develop into inteligent beings and build the civilization as we know it. But this stability is about to end within few centuries from now and it's about time for us to start preparing to move out.

--
URANOS group [eu.org]

Re:One more argument for moving into space (2)

jonabbey (2498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636421)

Didn't you read the article? If we're in space, we don't have a big comfy magnetic shield to protect us. Our atmosphere would boil. Our compasses wouldn't work. It would just suck. And there's no way the wildebeest would make it. Won't somebody think of the wildebeest?

I heard that Al Gore has a theory... (1)

finity (535067) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636385)

The poles are flipping because of global warming, the start of which was in direct correlation with his inventing the internet.

Re:I heard that Al Gore hates me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636402)

For dumbing all this old computer hardware in my backyard.

Damn! Better hurry to copy my floppy disks to CD (2, Funny)

DrD8m (307736) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636386)

This magnetic changes will change my magnetic floppy disks data from 0 to 1 !!!!! Must copy all old floppys to CD!!!!!

Re:Damn! Better hurry to copy my floppy disks to C (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636430)

I wouldn't worry about that.. you know what happens when you put your CD's into a microwave? That'll happen to your CD's when the solar radiation gets us ;)

flipping in a week (1)

hokanomono (530164) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636388)

Can humans survive the radiation well for a week or two? Having a reversed magnetic field sounds fun to me, except for the effect in between.

Where's the man with the Tinfoil Megaphone? (2, Funny)

akheron1 (604013) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636389)

Our calender system was based on the birth of christ, unfortunately it was incorrect and the birth of christ was actually several years later than it was thought when the calender system was made, and it was probably not on december 25. In fact they say it was most likely sometime in 5-7 AD. So around 2005 we will be approaching the REAL year 2000 switchover. If the weakening of the poles prior to their switching allows enough radiation from the sun to be let in to kill us all, then doesn't anyone see the horrible irony here? That on the REAL millenium change we might all die, maybe all of those people preaching about the year 2000 doomsday were right!

FYI (2)

loply (571615) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636398)

FYI, when the poles flip, every natural disaster known to man kind happens in a 30 day period...

Floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes. You name it.

Re:FYI (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636403)

Good! Might as well get all of them out of the way quickly and have it easy after that!

simple solution: planetary magnetic shield (2)

nounderscores (246517) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636406)

Get a giant magnet. Hide yourself under its field lines.

Keep all your electronics in metal cages.

You might even be able to harvest energy from all the ions collecting on the poles of your giant magnetic shield, or use them for cool night lights.

don't worry (2)

jukal (523582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636414)

it will not hurt that much as at the same eath will be hit by asteroids from 3 directions simultaneously, our oxygen level will have dropped below limits, magnetic poles have disappeared, the world has entered the phase of global thermo-nuclear war and finally 95 percent of human beings will be considered terrorists by the US govt.

Does this mean....?? (1)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636415)

Does this mean that on a compase, north will point south and south will point north? What about east and west? Aren't a whole lot of navigation equipment going to be effected? Isn't this going to be significantly much more severe than Y2K?! We're all going to die!

hopefully.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636435)

they'll employ a lot of IT people to fix up all the compasses, and ill finally have a job instead of bumming off the streets

This happened about 20 minutes ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636426)

I've got one of those rearview mirrors in my car with the built-in compass. I was driving south on the 405 and I happened to glance up at the mirror and the little "S" just changed to an "N". Honestly I was expecting this to be more interesting.

what i wanna know is (1)

nuckin futs (574289) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636434)

'Reversals happen every 250,000 years or so, and as there has not been one for almost a million years, we are due one soon.'

how did they come up with that number? Also, that statement seem to contradict itself.
it's like saying "I usually get laid every week, but I haven't gotten laid in 2 years, so I'm due pretty soon".

Just a marketing ploy for a new movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4636447)

Could the Guardian article possibly be just a marketing push for a new Hollywood disaster movie called "The Core"?

Nah. Responsible press would never stoop so low. I'm sure it's a coincidence.

Trailer at: http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/the_core.h tml

Montgomery Burns is causing it! (2)

Caractacus Potts (74726) | more than 11 years ago | (#4636452)


Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun, I will do the next best thing!

Sounds like a confession to me.
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