Time to ditch those magnetometers

Mother Nature does it optically

And reversals of the Earth's magnetic field would not matter.

But what would you do in the dark?

...R

Robin2:
And reversals of the Earth's magnetic field would not matter.

That one's always puzzled me about the pigeons/turtles.

But what would you do in the dark?

...R

Go to sleep, duh.

How long does a magnetic field reversal take outside of TV and Movie Land?

GoForSmoke:
How long does a magnetic field reversal take outside of TV and Movie Land?

<100 years to over a thousand years.

ChrisTenone:
<100 years to over a thousand years.

So it never takes between 100 and 1000 years?

Chagrin:
So it never takes between 100 and 1000 years?

No, read that as "less than one hundred years to over one thousand years" not "less than 100 years or over 1000 years." I thought the preposition "to" was pretty unambiguous.

Chagrin:
So it never takes between 100 and 1000 years?

Except for that word he used, "to" which is different than the word "or".

But if it's "less than" 100 years to "over" 1000 years then that would be anywhere between 0 years and infinity.

Sure.

Chagrin:
But if it's "less than" 100 years to "over" 1000 years then that would be anywhere between 0 years and infinity.

But?

So?

ChrisTenone:
<100 years to over a thousand years.

This is how a politician says “I don’t know, but I want to appear intelligent” :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

…R

Right, but in this case I am not totally ignorant. As a qualification, I run a geology (and other physical sciences) laboratory at a community college. Since I need to be able to answer a LOT of questions, I keep up in some of the physical science fields.

The topic of magnetic pole reversal comes up often - it appeals to young'uns. So our technicians, professors and interested geologist in the community have looked into the topic, and told me:

  • Pauses have lasted from about 60 years to '8000 years & change'.
  • The historical distribution of the duration between reversals looks random, but kinda Gausian.
  • The boundary between states is wide, so exact quantification is cumbersome.

I wanted to express a large and random distribution in the simplest way. Did it really look intelligent?

Cool!


ps, my current favorite politician probably has a White Paper on what should be done in case of a reversal.

pps, you can google the data ya know ...

ChrisTenone:
Right, but in this case I am not totally ignorant.

Sorry. My comment was not aimed at you but at the people who are nit-picking your use of language.

...R

Pauses have lasted from about 60 years to '8000 years & change'.

But how can that be?
Our planet is only 6000 years old!

Robin2:
Sorry. My comment was not aimed at you but at the people who are nit-picking your use of language.

...R

Oh, ok, thanks for the clarification.

As a voice of science though, I am a bit of a politician.

Not quite sure what that means though. ...

It's probably best to say that if some animals use a magnetic field sense that's not a hard-wired override single-control mechanism. They might use those bits of iron as much as we use our ears to breathe in water.