May 12, 2006


Ships' logs give clues to Earth's magnetic decline (Patrick Barry, 11 May 2006,

The voyages of Captain Cook have just yielded a new discovery: the gradual weakening of Earth’s magnetic field is a relatively recent phenomenon. The discovery has led experts to question whether the Earth is on track towards a polarity reversal.

By sifting through ships’ logs recorded by Cook and other mariners dating back to 1590, researchers have greatly extended the period over which the behaviour of the magnetic field can be studied. The data show that the current decline in Earth's magnetism was virtually negligible before 1860, but has accelerated since then.

Until now, scientists had only been able to trace the magnetic field’s behaviour back to 1837, when Carl Friedrich Gauss invented the first device for measuring the field directly.

The field’s strength is now declining at a rate that suggests it could virtually disappear in about 2000 years. Researchers have speculated that this ongoing change may be the prelude to a magnetic reversal, during which the north and south magnetic pole swap places.

Where is the Democrat with courage enough to take on this issue and propose the radical reforms to our affluent lifestyles necessary to combat it?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 12, 2006 1:49 PM

Clearly, we need to move the world's iron to the North Pole.

Posted by: pj at May 12, 2006 1:58 PM

The polarity flip will cause cancer rates to go up 20%, a scourge which could only be dealt with by mass cloning factories to produce babies for embryonic stem cell harvesting. Therefore, only evil Republicans will try to delay the flip.

Posted by: pj at May 12, 2006 2:02 PM

I'm sure there will be a Daily Degauss blog to focus on this key issue by the 2008 elections...

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at May 12, 2006 2:04 PM

"a magnetic reversal, during which the north and south magnetic pole swap places" Magnetic reversal is definitely caused by human activities. If you dangle a ball in mid air, if one part of the ball is heavier, that part has a tendency to drop down. The earth is floating on top of a core of magma. All those ugly tall buildings on the Northern Hemisphere have made that part of the globe heavier. The heavier part drops down, North becomes South, South becomes North, thus, we have a magnetic reversal.

Al Gore's Earth in the Balance II: raze all tall buildings in the developed countries, fund the Africans to build higher and bigger buildings to "balance" the earth.

My human induced magnetic field reversal reasoning is as sound as Al's human induced global warming reasoning.

Al for president to stop magnetic field reversal.

Posted by: ic at May 12, 2006 2:31 PM

It's due to the decline in wildlife and the extinction of species. If we had more animals, the magnetic field would be stronger.

What? You mean you never heard of "animal magentism?"

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 12, 2006 2:35 PM

What's this going to mean for the stuff fixed to my refrigerator door?

Posted by: Pepe at May 12, 2006 3:34 PM

As funny as all your jokes are, does anyone here realize that the the moment the field goes below a certain level we are all toast.

If this is true (it could all be nonsense), and we are to survive, we simply need to get off the planet (much nicer than going underground)

Posted by: Bruno at May 12, 2006 3:46 PM

I blame cell phones.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 12, 2006 3:49 PM


"If the field does flip 2000 years from now, the Northern Lights will be visible all over the planet during the transition, and solar radiation at ground level will be much more intense, with no field to deflect it.

There is no need to worry, though, argues Gubbins, as our ancestors have lived through quite a few of these transitions already."

Posted by: oj at May 12, 2006 3:50 PM

Sunscreen, Bruno. Lots of sunscreen.
Time to buy some stock in CopperTone.

Posted by: Mikey at May 12, 2006 3:55 PM

Bruno - Just think of it as the equivalent of spending your life on a jet airliner, but with more legroom.

Posted by: pj at May 12, 2006 3:58 PM


it's obvious. the magnets will go INSIDE the refrigerator, the chicken will be stuck outside the door.

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at May 12, 2006 3:58 PM

ic - "All those ugly tall buildings on the Northern Hemisphere". Exactly!
Especially that RKO tower.

Posted by: wf at May 12, 2006 4:11 PM

Thanks guys. I never really understood all this complicated stuff before.

Posted by: erp at May 12, 2006 5:58 PM

The explanation is in the dictionary:

topsy-turvy, 1. with the top where the bottom should be: 2. in or into a state of confusion or disorder: 3. Algore's view of where the world is heading.

I made one of those up.

Posted by: AllenS at May 12, 2006 7:42 PM


I tried to get ahead of the curve, but my magnets won't stick to anything on the inside of the frig. The chicken keeps falling on the floor.

Posted by: AllenS at May 12, 2006 7:45 PM

Sounds like an internal EMP bomb, if you ask me.

Or maybe it's from all those tunnels that the Chinese are digging, in preparation for their attack on America.

Posted by: ratbert at May 13, 2006 12:40 AM
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