Post by Dan Espen Post by Questor Post by Andreas Kohlbach Post by gareth evans Post by Andreas Kohlbach Post by Quadibloc
So to send people back to slide rules and mechanical calculators,
you need something more. Say, like the Carrington event.
Unfortunately, that _could_ happen.
Almost happened 2012. The CME had about the same strength as the
Carrington Event, bus missed earth by nine days.
I had to rush to google for that.
I checked Wikipedia for Carrington Event which also mentioned the 2012 event.
Post by gareth evans
I'm surprised that telegraph circuits were compromised in those
days before the coming of electronics of any kind.
Metal wires of any kind don't like that. 1989 did an CME earth and shut
down much of Eastern Canada
As I understand it, we're "overdue" for a major shift in the Earth's magnetic
poles, which historically have occurred every couple of hundred thousand years.
When that happens, it will make a CME look like a walk in the park in
Any good sources on what would actually happen?
The wikipedia page lacks any end of world predictions.
Naturally, nobody really knows what happens during a magnetic pole reversal, but
it is known to happen at irregular intervals. It has to be studied indirectly,
for example studying the orientation of magnetic minerals in lava flows that
occurred at the same time. When the lava hardened, those minerals were aligned
with the existing magnetic field of the Earth as it was in that moment.
As I understand the current theory, the reversal process takes only decades, not
millenia -- a blink of an eye in geological time scales. It is speculated that
first the Earth's magnetic field weakens, while the poles begin to wander more
rapidly. As the magnetic field continues to weaken, multiple north and south
magnetic poles appear. After some time of magnetic chaos with multiple weak
poles, the steps reverse. One set of poles -- now with the opposite polarity
with regard to the Earth's axis -- strengthens while the others fade away.
The impact of such an event on our current way of life would be huge. With a
weaker magnetic field, more cosmic radiation and various emanations from the sun
will reach the Earth's surface. Just being outside will be more hazardous.
Perhaps wearing a tinfoil hat would actually be necessary. The increased
radiation will also play havoc with any unshielded electronic equipment or wire
transmissions, and of course any wireless communication. Magnetic wayfinding
would be practically impossile.
It seems like there should be some good science fiction stories written about
life during/after a magnetic pole reversal. Anybody know of any?