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December 21 2012 is fast approaching. There are many theories that have been dismissed as folklore, but there is one that is scientific fact. The events told in this story are simply a theorized account of the ‘awakening’. While many perceive Dec 21 2012 as the end of days or the apocalypse it is neither. Please keep the words of Winston Churchill close you if you decide to read on:

“This is not the end, this is not the beginning of the end…this is simply the end of the beginning.”

Here are the scientific facts:

  1. Earth’s Geomagnetic field is weakening. The first human records of the geomagnetic field were started in 1845. The field was 10% stronger at this point of time. Geological records show that this magnetic field was strongest about 2000 years ago.
  2. The magnetosphere is a bubble of magnetism that surrounds the Earth and protects us from solar wind. Our planet’s magnetic field diverts most particles into a circular path around the Earth.
  3. The Earth’s climate has been significantly affected by the planet’s magnetic field
  4. A weakened magnetic field could result in a sudden or gradual pole reversal (the magnetic North and South pole’s reverse)
  5. Earth’s magnetic field has reversed hundreds of times over the past billion years.
  6. Researchers investigated the tear in the magnetic field, they discovered that 20 times more solar wind passed into the Earth’s protective shield when the magnetic fields were aligned. (Sun and Earth)
  7. The Earth’s and the Sun’s magnetic fields will be in sync at the peak of Solar Cycle 24, expected in 2012. This will cause an influx of solar particles.
  8. Every 10–11 years, the number of sunspots found on our closest star rises from zero (as it was in 2008) to a high of over four hundred. While the sunspots themselves don’t affect Earth, the solar flares and other disturbances emanating from our Sun during increased sunspot activity result in an increased number of particles (electrons and protons) and harmful light radiation (ultraviolet rays and X-rays), known as solar wind.
  9. A big enough solar storm could shut down power grids all over the world.

“Impacts would be felt on interdependent infrastructures with, for example, potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications in about 12–24 hours; and immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on,” the report states. Outages could take months to fix, banks might close, and trade with other countries might halt.

-Daniel Baker

Director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
University of Colorado  Boulder.

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