Earth’s magnetic field is weakening – according to various studies approved by the European Space Agency (ESA) – between the regions in Africa and South America. Experts say that this weakening may create some havocs in some areas where the planet relies normalcy in its existence.
In the last 200 years, earth’s magnetic field strength has been reduced by 9% in the region stretching between Africa and South America. Scientists call this the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly’. “The new eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years, is developing vigorously”, says Dr. Jürgen Matzka, scientist from German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ). The magnetic field was calculated to be 31,400 nanoteslas in 1900 and in 2020 it is reduced below 29,600 nanoteslas, according to the reports from NOAA.
Earth’s magnetic field, called the Geomagnetic field extends from the north pole to south pole that can exert its force on the charged particles that are being radiated from the Sun to the earth. This magnetic field is due to the presence of the molten metallic liquid 3000km below the earth’s crust. The South Atlantic Anomaly is technically due to the variations in the flow of these metallic liquids.
“This change in the pattern of flow has weakened the patch under Canada and ever so slightly increased the strength of the patch under Siberia. This is why the North Pole has left its historic position over the Canadian Arctic and crossed over the International Date Line. Northern Russia is winning the ‘tug of war’, if you like”, reports Dr. Phil Livermore of Leeds University over BBC. Scientists from the Data Innovation and Science Cluster (DISC) use ESA’s Swarm Satellite Constellation to study the South Atlantic Anomaly and measure the geomagnetic field. “A competition of two magnetic ‘blobs’ explains a drift in the North Pole”, reports a team from the Leeds University. ESA points out another possible reason for this anomaly: The North Pole and the South Pole is switching. The entire GPS surveillance and tracking system on the globe then goes hodgepodge. However, it is assuring that this reversal takes place once in every 2,50,000 years.
The scientists report that the weakening of the geomagnetic field causes a twofold impact. Firstly, it ceases to stop the cosmic radiations from the sun to the earth and secondly, it affects the Satellites and spacecrafts around the earth. The harmful radiations cause serious anomalies on the satellite performance. The former problem may result in hazards on the health of the life on earth. The latter can render the telecommunication, signaling and weather forecasting technology unreliable. Despite all the studies ESA assures that there is nothing to panic as the havoc caused by the anomaly will be superficial. The scientists are on full throttle to solve this mystery with the Swarms Satellites and they are on the hope that new insights to the earth’s interior could be obtained.