Geomagnetic Reversals and how they Affect the PNW
Earth, unlike our neighbors Mars and Venus, has a magnetic field that protects us from solar wind, cosmic radiation, atmospheric erosion and water loss. It makes our planet habitable. Beyond that, it also allows for navigation in a diverse group of organisms, from bacterial to birds.
Measurements made by ground stations and satellites have recently indicated that the strength of the-present-day magnetic field is decreasing. A phenomenon known as the South Atlantic Anomaly, an area where Earth's inner Van Allen Radiation Belt comes closest to the surface, dipping down to an altitude of 120 miles, is continuously growing in size. These concerns are sparking discussions among specialists and the public if a geomagnetic field reversal, a flipping with the pole reversing sign, may be imminent.
Numerous paleomagnetic studies, as well as semi-recently declassified documents from the U.S. government, show that that the geomagnetic field has reversed its polarity at least several hundred times during the Phanerozoic Eon, which is the "modern era" spanning 538.8 million years to the present, and began with the Cambrian Period, when animals first developed hard shells preserved in the fossil record. These reversals have also been show to correlate with events in mammalian evolution.
When a polarity reversal occurs, the strength of the geomagnetic field can fall to as low as 10%, bathing the surface with radiation and cosmic rays, leading to both large extinctions, as well as major evolutionary events for the survivors.
Evidence also exists of numerous previous human societies moving underground for periods of time, possibly attempting to escape the dangers of a geomagnetic reversal.
A recent study titled "On the Biospheric Effects of Geomagnetic Reversals" by Yongxin Pan and Jinhua Li, which was published in the Oxford Academic National Science Review, further shows that these events have occurred in the past.
The question a lot of people have when reading on this subject is how it will affect the Earth, and more to my point, how it will affect the Pacific Northwest.
When the reversal happens, it can lead to a physical realigning of the planet to match the new north and south poles. As it currently stands, the magnetic poles are moving to new positions at an increasing speed each passing day, and are expected to meet at the South Atlantic Anomaly. It is speculated that once they meet, Earth will rotate (from our perspective in the PNW) to the southeast.
This movement will cause the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to wash ashore many miles inland, inundating not only coastal areas, but inland areas as well. This will be followed by a "slosh-back" after the initial readjustment. This will cause a wall of water to come ashore here in the northwest, from the west-northwest, well into the Okanogan Highlands, beyond into Idaho and Montana and ending at the Colorado Rockies. Only the locations high in elevation would be spared the wave. The west side of the state and all coastal areas will be total losses; few in between will survive.
It has been speculated that the Ice Age Floods the northwest saw thousands of years ago could be correlated with the most recent reversal. Those floods are believed to have happened around 15,000 years ago... a time frame that lines up near perfectly with the last believed magnetic reversal.
Once the reversal has completed, the surface will be awash in radiation for at least a week, or two. This is when those who survived will have to retreat below ground, or in cave systems, much like our ancestors have many times in the distant past.
After that, it's back to life as normal, which then will be daily rebuilding and a new level of survival that only our distant ancestors understood.
There's a ton more to this story and I'll write more upon it in the near future.