Earth’s magnetic field extends from the interior of the planet out into space. It protects us from solar and cosmic rays and deflects most of the solar wind, which would otherwise make holes in the ozone layer that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. When harmful particles enter the atmosphere, Earth’s magnetic field deflects them.
Experts have warned that Earth’s magnetic field has weakened by around 15 percent over the last 200 years. According to scientists, it could be a sign that the Earth’s magnetic poles are about to flip. If this happens, there will be no light, no computers, and no cellphones. Even filling a car’s gas tank would be impossible.
This switching process could take centuries, but if it happens, we would be exposed to harmful radiation, and it may cause entire species to go extinct. Probably it will render some areas of the planet uninhabitable by knocking out power grids.
“We have a double layer defense shield,” said Jim Wild, a space scientist at Lancaster University.
“Space is full of stuff that’s not great for biological tissue. If we didn’t have an atmosphere, that stuff would be hitting us. It’s the magnetic field that protects the atmosphere from the solar wind.”