All you need to know is right here: (1) scientists don’t understand it, and (2) without it we would be dead. Read more if you dare.
In New Scientist’s piece, “The paradox powering earth’s magnetic field,” Marcus Woo knows that we rely on our magnetic field:
IT IS Earth’s silent defender. Without it, a constant onslaught of charged particles would bombard our planet’s atmosphere, changing its chemistry and disrupting our electronic infrastructure. Assuming any of that stuff was even there to disrupt. In Earth’s infancy, our guardian may have prevented the sun’s action from stripping away the protective bubble of gas surrounding our planet entirely, and so allowed life – and eventually intelligent life – to flourish.
But then Woo reveals a tale of scientific nakedness covered by fig leaves. First, the fig leaves:
This silent defender is Earth’s magnetic field, a force field whose source lies in the churning molten iron that forms the planet’s core. Electrons flowing through this fluid generate an electric current, which in turn creates a magnetic field. The core is a giant, self-sustaining electromagnet: a dynamo.
Now, the unveiling:
That’s been the general story for decades. But over the last few years, it has run into a problem. Evidence is mounting that the dynamo could only have emerged comparatively recently. At the same time, geological clues show that the magnetic field has existed for most of Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history. This contradiction – an ancient magnetic field without anything to power it – is forcing us to rethink our planet’s insides.
Not a pretty sight. No dynamo? That’s dynamite.
Marcus Woo is a moyboy, of course, not questioning the consensus age of the earth. Now, however, the moyboy position leads to a contradiction. What to do? Geophysicists need a dynamo tale for their billions of years, but can’t find a place to plug it in. What powers the convection that’s supposed to generate the field?
So it seems that one way or another, the dynamo has been kept turning for most of Earth’s history. But it’s here we encounter the most recent twist in this magnetic tale. In the past few years, researchers have begun to doubt whether the first part of the story, thermal convection, could ever have happened – and if it did, whether it would have been strong enough to power the magnetic field. “If you want to rely on thermal convection alone, then we’re in trouble,” says David Stevenson at the California Institute of Technology.
The fig leaves came off recently. Woo quotes Francis Nimmo: “Five years ago, everyone thought they knew the answer.” Under the best theoretical models, the dynamo could not have gotten jumpstarted till a billion years ago, billions of years after the earth’s emergence as a planet. But without it running from the beginning, life would have cooked under an atmosphere doing a striptease in the hot sun.
Woo doesn’t want to leave the models naked. He brings in some tailors. One guy dresses the model with magnesium; another, with silicon. Others try entertainment till some covering arrives. Ever seen the Wobble Dance? The Jostle Dance? They sound lun-ey if not risque.
Some researchers have even suggested that convection may not drive the dynamo at all. Instead, Earth’s wobbling rotation could jostle the molten iron. Or the moon’s gravity could tug the liquid core in the same way it causes ocean tides. “There’s a group of people that are enthusiastic about the idea, but I would say it’s probably not mainstream,” says Bruce Buffet at the University of California, Berkeley.
For now, “everything’s up in the air,” Woo laments. Even the fig leaves. Try not to think about it.
At the moment, everything’s up in the air. Even the thermal conductivity calculations could be wrong. In fact, a study contradicting Hirose’s measurements ran alongside his in the same scientific journal. “This is a fast-moving field,” Nimmo says. “I don’t think we have a completely satisfactory answer.”
And you thought the tale of the Earth’s magnetic field was as elegant as Melanie Trump’s inauguration gown by Ralph Lauren. Sorry; that was only the textbook drawing for the TV animators. The real tailors are threadbare, leaving their critics in stitches.
And that’s what you are not being told. The secular geophysicists can’t power the magnetic field or keep it going, and they can’t live without it. All these problems ensue because they’re moyboys. Take away the requirement for millions and billions of years: problem (1) solved. Think of it as intelligently designed for human life: problem (2) solved. So what’s the problem? Not evidence, but worldview commitment.