February 25, 2017 | David F. Coppedge

Earth Magnetic Field Plays Music

Like a finely-tuned instrument, the earth’s magnetic field creates standing-wave vibrations as it protects life.

“You are living inside a massive, musical instrument,” claims Martin Archer, a plasma physicist at Queen Mary University of London, writing in The Conversation. He’s speaking of the earth’s invisible magnetic field. But you ask, how can you call it music, when there is no air in space? Archer explains in a video clip that the field lines may vibrate like strings and drums, setting up standing waves (as in a guitar string or drum head) because of resonances. Whether these vibrations produce consistently distinct notes remains to be determined, but it’s an interesting thought.

Here’s more news about the magnetic field for those interested in researching it further.

‘Quartz’ crystals at Earth’s core power its magnetic field (Science Daily). Whether science can make such a claim based on electron micrographs of crystals seems debatable, but this article points out the difficulty of accounting for our space shield. ‘Olson’s Paradox’ — a serious mismatch between power sources and temperatures required — has kept geophysicists busy since 2013. Has it been resolved? Read and decide.

Six centuries of geomagnetic intensity variations recorded by royal Judean stamped jar handles (PNAS). Israeli scientists think they have found large fluctuations in the field’s intensity, including a large spike, between the 8th to 2nd centuries BC — based on pottery jar handles. Is that possible? If so, it flies in the face of previous theories about the behavior of the field. Live Science and Tel Aviv University wrote about this claim.

Why are there different “flavors” of iron around the Solar System? (Astrobiology Magazine). In any model of magnetic fields, iron plays a critical role. Iron is also expected to reflect formation conditions of different bodies in the solar system, based on ratios of isotopes. At least in theory it is. “There’s still a lot to learn about the geochemical evolution of planets,” one Carnegie research admits, although he thinks they are getting warmer. Science Daily says, less optimistically, that the new experiments “call [the] origin of earth’s iron into question.” And the origin of earth’s core iron is central to theories of the magnetic field.

New research from The University of Texas at Austin reveals that the Earth’s unique iron composition isn’t linked to the formation of the planet’s core, calling into question a prevailing theory about the events that shaped our planet during its earliest years.

Pacific Ocean iron particles can travel thousands of miles, study finds (Fox News). This article does not mention geomagnetism, but reveals that “iron coming out of hydrothermal vents along volcanic mountain ridges in the Pacific can travel up to 2,500 miles.” Iron feeds phytoplankton, and phytoplankton affect the climate. It’s all connected somehow.

Underwater Mysteries

There’s a lot we still don’t understand about the planet we walk on. For instance, the BBC News asks, “Is there an eighth continent under New Zealand?” One would think geologists would have called it out long ago, but it appears that New Zealand’s two islands are just tips of peaks on a major underwater continent rivaling Australia in size. Separate from Australia, they’re calling it Zealandia. Nature says it’s a stamp-collecting issue whether to call it a continent or not, but some scientists think that this “coherent geographical feature” deserves recognition. Neither article says how deep the continent lies below the waves. Perhaps the whole thing was above water when sea levels were lower, allowing animals to migrate across land bridges.

Another surprise came from the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, almost 36,000 feet under the surface. National Geographic showed pictures of crabs, shrimp and other types of life, some new to science. Unfortunately, the robotic sub controllers also photographed a Spam can. The team led by James Cameron was dismayed to find “extraordinary” pollution levels in the deepest place on earth. “The trench and nearby areas are home to a variety of creatures, including deep-sea snailfish, glowing jellyfish, and giant amoebas, that could have been exposed to these chemicals despite the trench’s remote location.”

Real science is messy. Beware the scientist who says, “Now we know.”

Please don’t throw your trash into the ocean. Out of sight is not out of mind. Think of the poor crabs down there trying to survive pollution we caused.


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  • John C says:

    While attempting to peruse your two latest articles (see list), a third was added today! Anyone who might think you’re slowing down should take notice. Keep up the excellent work, Bro. Coppedge. This is by far my favorite go-to.

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