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The reversal happens at the same time the sun reaches its solar maximum, when sun spots and solar flares are at their height, and doesn’t happen all at once.
The physicist said the sun’s north pole has already switched its sign and that the south pole will probably do the same within the next three or four months. Amazon $1,000 Gift Card SweepstakesEnter to Win the $1,000 Amazon Gift Card SweepstakesRead the sweepstakes rules here. Our planet's magnetic field is in a constant state of change, say researchers who are beginning to understand how it behaves and why. The pole kept going during the 20th century, north at an average speed of 10 km per year, lately accelerating "to 40 km per year," says Newitt.
Earth's magnetic field is changing in other ways, too: Compass needles in Africa, for instance, are drifting about 1 degree per decade. Magnetic stripes around mid-ocean ridges reveal the history of Earth's magnetic field for millions of years.
Earth's magnetic field comes from this ocean of iron, which is an electrically conducting fluid in constant motion. Using the equations of magnetohydrodynamics, a branch of physics dealing with conducting fluids and magnetic fields, Glatzmaier and colleague Paul Roberts have created a supercomputer model of Earth's interior. What they see mimics the real Earth: The magnetic field waxes and wanes, poles drift and, occasionally, flip. The North Magnetic Pole -- (Geological Survey of Canada) find out where the north magnetic pole is now, and much more.
Core Concerns -- (Science News) The hidden reaches of Earth are starting to reveal some of their secrets. Earth's North Magnetic Pole -- (APOD) The North Magnetic Pole is currently located in northern Canada.
Animals like geese, pigeons, turtles and wolves are already known to make use of Earth’s magnetic field for their directional ventures. Interestingly, while researching about conditions like addiction and Alzheimer’s disease, the experts had already noted the ability of the C.

As for the more specific side of affairs, the scientists (for this project) decided to test out the worm’s so-called magnetosensory abilities.
A short-story 'maker', amateur historian, content creator and fervent admirer of strategy games, Dattatreya also has a bachelor’s degree in architecture and several years of writing experience under his belt - courtesy of various online publications that cover the realms of history, science and architecture. Magnetic Field Our planet's magnetic field is in a constant state of change, say researchers who are beginning to understand how it behaves and why. As remarkable as these changes sound, "they're mild compared to what Earth's magnetic field has done in the past," says University of California professor Gary Glatzmaier. Sitting atop the hot inner core, the liquid outer core seethes and roils like water in a pan on a hot stove.
Their software heats the inner core, stirs the metallic ocean above it, then calculates the resulting magnetic field. Reversals take a few thousand years to complete, and during that time--contrary to popular belief--the magnetic field does not vanish. On the left is a normal dipolar magnetic field, typical of the long years between polarity reversals.
But this is the first time that humans have been able to actually identify an organ that is specifically suited to such magnetic field-oriented navigational tasks. As a result, they intentionally altered the magnetic field around the worm specimen with the help of a magnetic coil mechanism.
Scientists say that the effects of the flip will be hardly noticeable to humans at all and won’t spark an increase in powerful solar storms or other events that could have a damaging effect on Earth. These new waves will better protect spacecrafts and astronauts against galactic cosmic rays, which are harmful to those not protected by Earth’s atmosphere. When this was mentioned by researchers at a recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union, many newspapers carried the story. The outer core also has "hurricanes"--whirlpools powered by the Coriolis forces of Earth's rotation. On the right is the sort of complicated magnetic field Earth has during the upheaval of a reversal.

Instead of shivering in Resolute Bay, he could enjoy the warm South Pacific, hopping from island to island, hunting for magnetic poles while auroras danced overhead. On further examination, they also discovered that some hungry worms tend to move downwards when kept in gelatin-filled tubes. The changes in neuron activity of the worm suggested that the organism had the natural habit to use its built-in sensor for navigation. They come at irregular intervals averaging about 300,000 years; the last one was 780,000 years ago. The dipole moment, a measure of the intensity of the magnetic field, is now 8 x 1022 amps x m2.
These complex motions generate our planet's magnetism through a process called the dynamo effect. Magnetic lines of force near Earth's surface become twisted and tangled, and magnetic poles pop up in unaccustomed places. However, worms collected from other geographical areas of our planet were found to opt for the variant actions – by moving in different directions in search of their food. Furthermore, the neuron embedded with this specialized sensor (known as the AFD neuron) was also found to detect other environmental parameters like temperature and carbon-dioxide levels. This sensor was found to be in a microscopic scale at the end of a neuron, with its shape roughly resembling a tiny television antenna. These directional actions were later gauged to be at precise angles to the Earth’s magnetic field. For example, the Australian worm was actually found to move upwards, a direction that hints at the Earth’s magnetic field orientation from Australia. But it's still a planetary magnetic field, and it still protects us from space radiation and solar storms.

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