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Earth’s changing poles have some scientists concerned about radiation effects: Journalist talks new book

Award-winning Canadian science journalist, Alanna Mitchell (Courtesy of Alanna Mitchell)

Canadian journalist and author of The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World–and Could Destroy It,  Alanna Mitchell joins The Matt Bubala Show to talk with Roger Badesch and listeners about the impact on the changing poles and how it impacts our future.

Mitchell says that this pole “reversal lets in extra damaging particles that damage life as it gets closer to the surface of the Earth. The ozone layer shreds up in places, but we are more likely to be exposed to radiation.” For example, this type of impact could cause cancer. “Before I worked on the book, I thought space was benign,” she says. Now, she thinks that “space is full of dangerous stuff.” Besides cancer, the impact of changing poles could also have an impact on our electronics like cell phones to the point where living in a “Victorian era” may become a possibility again. Sun flares have huge bursts of energy that target plasma and hit magnetic shields. “As it’s let into the surface of the Earth, the magnetic field is much weaker as it’s reversing,” Mitchell says. Simply stated, the shield is what’s protecting us and the Earth. When it’s reversed, it’s like a “bruise on an apple” as radiation gets closer to planet Earth. Magnetic periods started thousands of years ago, but the sun can help scientists understand magnetic poles. Past data has shown that there is an 11 year cycle. Scientists are concerned that some parts of Earth could eventually become inhabitable or that the biological effects of radio could be damaging.

For more information on Alanna’s work, visit her website or social media. Her book can be purchased in stores and on-line.