The Earth's magnetic field temporarily collapsed 42 thousand years ago

This situation seriously affected the earth's climate: the ozone layer was destroyed, in the tropics there were

electrical discharges, auroras began to appear all over the planet, and glaciers began to increase in size.

For the first time in history, we have been able to accurately date the time and environmental impact of the latest magnetic pole switch.

Chris Turney, UNSW Science professor and study co-author

The discovery was made possible by the ancientsNew Zealand cowrie trees, which have been stored in sediments for more than 40 thousand years. By examining the rings of these trees, scientists were able to date a spike in radiocarbon levels in the atmosphere caused by the collapse of the Earth's magnetic field.

Approximately 42 thousandyears, the poles of the earth were completely reversed, the strength of the magnetic field dropped to 6% of its present strength. The ionized air, without encountering any more obstacles, warmed up the ozone layer. This triggered a wave of climate change around the world.

These environmental changes forced the first humans to seek additional refuge. This can explain the sudden appearance of rock art around the world about 42 thousand years ago.

Over the past 170 years, the Earth's magnetic field has weakened by about 9%, the magnetic north pole is rapidly shifting across the northern hemisphere.

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