Tag Archives: Prehistoric

Upheaval and extinctions linked to magnetic reversal 42,000 years ago | Earth | EarthSky

Posted by Kelly Whitt in Earth | Human World | February 20, 2021

As the magnetic reversal of 42,000 years ago helped bring about earthly extinctions, these scientists said, the skies would have been lit by widespread auroras. These scientists suggest the reversal could help explain evolutionary mysteries, such as the extinction of Neanderthals. Image via Unsplash/ UNSW.

A magnetic reversal 42,000 years ago helped bring about earthly extinctions, scientists said, accompanied by changes in the sky including electrical storms and widespread auroras.

A new international study suggests that a magnetic field reversal – combined with changing solar winds – contributed to an environmental crisis and mass extinctions 42,000 years ago. It happened around the time of the demise of the Neanderthals, an extinct human species that once roamed what’s now Europe, these scientists said, and it would have come with electrical storms, widespread auroras and an influx of cosmic radiation.

Source: Upheaval and extinctions linked to magnetic reversal 42,000 years ago | Earth | EarthSky

Crisis Ensued The Last Time Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flipped, Researchers Say : NPR

  A giant kauri tree grows in Waipoua Forest in Northland, New Zealand. Trees like this one that fell long ago and were preserved for thousands of years are helping researchers discern fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic poles. Kim Westerskov/Getty Images
A giant kauri tree grows in Waipoua Forest in Northland, New Zealand. Trees like this one that fell long ago and were preserved for thousands of years are helping researchers discern fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic poles. Kim Westerskov/Getty Images

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An ancient, well-preserved tree that was alive the last time the Earth’s magnetic poles flipped has helped scientists pin down more precise timing of that event, which occurred about 42,000 years ago.

This new information has led them to link the flipping of the poles to key moments in the prehistoric record, like the sudden appearance of cave art and the mysterious extinction of large mammals and the Neanderthals. They argue that the weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field would have briefly transformed the world by altering its climate and allowing far more ultraviolet light to pour in.

Source: Crisis Ensued The Last Time Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flipped, Researchers Say : NPR