There seems to be a reality show on television that covers just about everything. The National Geographic channel has taken upon itself to document people who believe we are in the end of days, “Doomsday” people. One group believes that an ensuing change in the Earth’s poles is going to cause some sort of cataclysm. This, of course, is preposterous.
In physics there are four basic forces, strong, weak, gravity, and electro-magnetism. The strong force is also known as the nuclear force or that force that holds atoms together. The weak force is radiation, a good example is the radiation from things like uranium. Gravity, as we all know is what hold us onto the Earth, and the electro-magnetic force is as simple as a magnet that we all had as kids.
The force some of these Doomsdayers are pointing to is the Earth’s magnetic force. They point out that the Earth’s poles are changing, that is thought to be true. Every several hundred million years the north and south poles change positions for reasons we do not understand at all. Scientists think the weakening magnetic force the Earth is currently experiencing is the Earth getting ready to change poles which is due. But what the Doomsdayers do not seem to understand is that change in poles will be a full 180 degrees and not anything in-between. The reason is simple. The Earth generates its magnetism from the spinning of the nickle-iron core spinning at the middle of the Earth. The spin of the Earth cannot change directions without some other object literally running into it and turning it. Hence, the spin as it is now will remain as is after the change in poles. The poles cannot form along the solar plane because of the motion of its core. If you imagine this motion as the same you would see in a top you will understand it better. If you watch a top while it is spinning the top of the top is one pole while the bottom is the other and must remain that way. The picture below shows how the spin of the Earth is directly related to the magnetic poles. The spin is at a 90 degree angle relative to the spin.
The worst thing that will happen if/when the poles shift is what happens to the Earth when the solar winds created by the sun hit.
The picture above is a depiction of the solar winds and what happens when they hit the Earth’s magnetic fields. Simply put, when these charged particles come in contact with the Earth magnetic fields those particles follow the lines of magnetism to either the north or south pole.
The above photographs shows those lines of magnetism as they presently exist. Now, if you take away those lines of magnetism there is a problem. The solar wind at that point will buffet the Earth’s atmosphere directly and start to boil it off. This “boiling” is not the same as boiling water but rather the act of stripping off layer after layer of something, in this case the Earth’s atmosphere. Not only that, the amount of ultra-violet light that reaches the Earth’s surface will rise significantly. This, obviously, is the worst case scenario of the Earth changing its magnetism. But we can take heart. In the geological record there is nothing that points to a life-ending event. Scientists have been able to go back literally billions of years in Earth’s history all events that have cause large-scale annihilations have been related to volcanic eruptions and exceptionally large meteor collisions. We have no reason to believe that either will happen soon. Also, because of the spin of the Earth there will always be a magnetic field surrounding our planet, even during a pole shift. This is simply because of the mechanical action of the Earth’s core with its surroundings dictates that there must be a magnetic field generated. The only way to stop that generation is to stop the spin, an impossibility.
Some of these Doomsdayers think when the Earth loses its magnetism, which it could briefly, we will all be flung off into space. The Earth’s magnetism has no effect on its gravity. They are independent of each other. Gravity is proportional to the mass of an object, and the earth is not changing its mass at all, except maybe to gain a little as bits of space rock hit it.
These same Doomsdayers are also talking like mid-America suddenly taking on the characteristics of the North Pole when a polar shift happens. Again, an absurd idea. Where our land masses sit is entirely a function of a little goodie called plate tectonics. That quite simple is how the various plates of the Earth move relative to one another.
From the above picture you can see each of the Earth’s plates. The arrows indicate the general direction in which each moves. As you can clearly see, we here in the Americas are moving in a westerly direction. The north and south poles are staying put. One also needs to remember that significant movement of these plates only happens in the tens of millions of years.
Scientifically speaking, there is absolutely no reason to believe that the human race is in any imminent danger. All the dangers to the human race have been well identified and are, of course, the result of our own actions. And so, unless these Doomsdayers are suggesting that the laws of physics are suddenly going to change, we are only doomed to live in the midst of our own foolishness. This includes, by the way, the Mayan predictions.