By Big Think
|About 42,000 years ago, Earth’s magnetic field broke down temporarily, according to a new study. It’s happening right now in 2021 as well. This led to environmental cataclysms and mass extinctions, including the demise of the Neanderthals. The dramatic period was a turning point in Earth’s history, claim the scientists, full of resplendent auroras, electrical storms, and strong cosmic radiation. |
These changes were caused by the reversal of the planet’s magnetic poles and variations in solar winds. The researchers behind the international study called this period the “Adams Transitional Geomagnetic Event’ or simply “Adams Event.” The Adams they are referring to is the science fiction writer Douglas Adams, who famously wrote in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” that 42 was the answer to “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
“Using ancient New Zealand kauri trees, the researchers were able to create global climate models that showed how the growth of ice sheets and glaciers across North America, differences in wind belts and tropical systems, and even the extinction of Neanderthals could all be linked to the climate changes brought on by the Adams Event. “Earth’s magnetic field dropped to only 0-6 per cent strength during the Adams Event,” pointed out UNSW Sydney professor and co-author Chris Turney. “We essentially had no magnetic field at all – our cosmic radiation shield was totally gone.” According to the researchers, another fascinating consequence of the Adams Event is that early humans would have been both inspired and terrified by the amazing auroras seen in the sky, brought on by the magnetic field fluctuations. The calamities would have forced our ancestors into the caves, leading to the amazing cave art that came about approximately 42,000 years ago.
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