Exame Informática | Satellites show that Earth's magnetic field is weakening

The magnetic field that protects the Earth is vital for the
existence of life on the planet. The field is generated by the liquid metal that constitutes
the outer core that is 3000 kilometers deep. This creates chains
that end up generating the said field, which varies both in strength and in
direction. Now, it is known that in the last 200 years the field has lost, on average, 9%
of your strength.

A zone between Africa and South America saw a greater reduction in intensity, a phenomenon that became known as the South Atlantic Anomaly. Scientists note that, between 1970 and 2020, the minimum field strength in this region dropped from 24000 nanoteslas to 22000 and during that period it moved westward at a rate of 20 kilometers per year. In the past five years, show the data, a second center of minimal intensity is emerging, in Southwest Africa, indicating that the anomaly could be divided into two cells. The anomaly alone does not cause an alarm at the level of the Earth's surface, but satellites, aircraft and other instruments operating in this area may experience technical difficulties, since charged particles may penetrate the low orbit area.

The scientists' conclusions are being based on a study of data collected by the European Space Agency's ESA (Swarm) satellite network. These satellites were designed precisely to identify and accurately measure the different magnetic signals that make up this field.

Researchers are exploring the hypothesis that the Earth may be heading for an imminent pole reversal, in which the north and south magnetic poles may switch places. This exchange takes place on average every 250 thousand years.

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