42,000 years ago there was a time of global change. An investigation aims to explain the reasons for this transformation. Apparently they were the effects of a magnetic pole reversal on the planet. A group of scientists came to this conclusion after conducting a study. They analyzed old New Zealand tree rings.
The Adams event
They named the time the Adam’s transitory geomagnetic event in honor of science fiction writer Douglas Adams. He was the one who stated that number 42 was the definitive answer to everything in the universe. He did it in his legendary book series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
“For the first time, we have accurately dated the time and environmental impact of the last magnetic pole shift.” So says the scientist Chris Turney from the University of New South Wales (Australia). The study was published in the journal Science.
This pole shift is known as the Laschamp event. It consists of the Poles who briefly swap places before returning to their original positions. It took place about 41,000 years ago and lasted for about 800 years. The Kauri trees of New Zealand made it possible to study the time before the Laschamp event. They found that the Adams Event happened about 42,200 years ago. It was when the magnetic field was weakest before the Laschamp incident.
Trees record atmospheric activity in their annual growth rings. A radiocarbon spike in the tree rings indicates the earth was exposed to higher exposure that year. When the earth’s magnetic field weakens, more cosmic rays enter the atmosphere. So you produce more radiocarbon. It was found that the Earth’s magnetic field weakened to 28% of its normal strength during this 800 year period.
However, at the Adams event, the situation became much more dramatic. “The Earth’s magnetic field dropped to only 0 to 6% during the Adams Event. We had essentially no magnetic field. Our cosmic radiation protection was completely gone, “explained Turney.
This weakening would have changed the earth’s atmospheric ozone. The dramatic consequences included thunderstorms and climate changes around the world. The mysterious megafauna extinction in Australia also occurred. The effects of magnetic pole reversal today would be really devastating. And apparently we’re very close to that.