Will the poles switching cause problems?

When will the Earth's magnetic field next flip? Will it cause problems for our technology?
27 January 2020


"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.


Listener Ray asked us: " The Earth has apparently reversed its polarity fairly regularly, and is perhaps overdue for the next instance. Is anything known about how this will happen, and the effects? How will it affect our reliance on technology?"  We put Ray's question to  Richard Harrison, Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge, and he gave us a flipping good answer...


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