Many of us are more or less aware of the possibility of geomagnetic reversal, or the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles. While we all know about the existence of the North and the South poles, which are the geographic poles of our planet, few of us realize that there are two other poles corresponding to them, known as the magnetic poles of the Earth.
According to the studies of the European Space Agency, the magnetic poles of the Earth are preparing for a reversal, considering that the magnetic North pole has already shifted its position compared to where it was approximately 50 years ago. However, this reversal would not be the first of its kind, as humanity has previously experienced such events, but it would be the most impactful of all, as it would affect technologies that have significantly advanced since the last similar experience.
When analyzing the potential occurrence of such an event, we must take into consideration that we fully rely on the magnetic field that surrounds our planet and that we have built numerous technologies that benefit from it. Even if the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles would not be fatal to us, its effects would completely change the way we live. Modern facilities such as air traveling, GPS systems, the internet and even our power grids could be impacted by such an event, forcing humanity to return to a more basic lifestyle, less dependent on technology. Some areas of the planet may actually become uninhabitable due to high levels of UV rays.
Fortunately, we still have enough time before a geomagnetic reversal will take place, which could happen in many years’ time, if ever. However, we must remain aware of the fact that the potential of such an event to occur is rather high and that we should efficiently use the time we have to generate protection measures that can reduce its impact on our lives. We can design better satellite shields to protect them against radiation, we can build better power grids and more advanced space weather monitors. The main idea is that there is still time to ensure our protection in the event of a geomagnetic reversal, but only if we start now.