Geomagnetic Reversals Can Trigger Glaciation

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Bomb-shell press release from Kobe University confirms what I’ve been saying for years, that geomagnetic reversals can trigger ice ages – perhaps almost instantaneously. I’m not sure that was the intent of the press release because it doesn’t actually use the words “ice age,” “trigger ” or “instantaneous,” but that’s my take on it. See if you agree.

With a title that belies its importance, “Winter monsoons became stronger during geomagnetic reversal,” the press release (see full release below) explains that galactic cosmic rays (high-energy particles from space) increased “dramatically” during the Matuyama–Brunhes magnetic reversal of 780,000 years ago. Such an increase (called the Svensmark Effect) could induce more low cloud formation and influence the Earth’s climate via the umbrella effect.

Credit: Kobe University

That increase in galactic cosmic rays came about, the press release explains, because the Earth’s magnetic-field strength plummeted to less than 25 percent of today’s. In-as-much as our magnetic field shields us from cosmic rays, and in-as-much as geomagnetic field strength is now declining rapidly (5 percent per decade), and in-as-much as we may be headed for a reversal right now (here and here), this discovery concerns me.

As  I mentioned earlier, the press release doesn’t actually use the words “ice age.” What it does say, however, is that geomagnetic reversals correlate with sea-level changes.

What causes sea-level changes? Sea levels decline when water accumulates on land as ice, forming giant ice sheets sometimes more than a mile thick. Then, when the ice melts, sea levels rise once again. Changes in sea level therefore imply glaciation. (Sea levels stood at least 400 feet lower than today during the last period of increased glaciation.)

Just to be fair, even though the press release doesn’t mention it, the underlying paper does mention both glaciation and iceberg discharge. Kind of hard to get iceberg discharge unless there’s some glaciation going on.

As far as I’m concerned, this is enough by itself to show that geomagnetic reversals correlate with ice ages.

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