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Earth's magnetic field broke down 42,000 years ago and caused massive sudden climate change

By Chris Fogwill, Professor of Glaciology and Palaeoclimatology, Head of School Geography, Geology and the Environment and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures, Keele University
Alan Hogg, Professor, Director, Carbon Dating Laboratory, University of Waikato
Chris Turney, Professor of Earth Science and Climate Change, Director of the Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre, Director of Chronos 14Carbon-Cycle Facility, and UNSW Director of ARC Centre for Excellence in Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, UNSW
Zoë Thomas, ARC DECRA Fellow, UNSW
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The world experienced a few centuries of apocalyptic conditions 42,000 years ago, triggered by a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles combined with changes in the Sun’s behaviour. That’s the key finding of our new multidisciplinary study, published in Science.

This last major geomagnetic reversal triggered a series of dramatic events that have far-reaching consequences for our planet. They read like the plot of a horror movie: the ozone layer was destroyed, electrical storms raged across the…


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