A Probabilistic Assessment of the Next Geomagnetic Reversal

A Probabilistic Assessment of the Next Geomagnetic Reversal Deterministic forecasts for the next geomagnetic reversal are not feasible due to large uncertainties in the present‐day state of the Earth's core. A more practical approach relies on probabilistic assessments using paleomagnetic observations to characterize the amplitude of fluctuations in the geomagnetic dipole. We use paleomagnetic observations for the past 2 Myr to construct a stochastic model for the axial dipole field and apply well‐established methods to evaluate the probability of the next geomagnetic reversal as a function of time. For a present‐day axial dipole moment of 7.6 × 1022 A m2, the probability of the dipole entering a reversed state is less than 2% after 20 kyr. This probability rises to 11% after 50 kyr. An imminent geomagnetic reversal is not supported by paleomagnetic observations. The current rate of decline in the dipole moment is unusual but within the natural variability predicted by the stochastic model. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Geophysical Research Letters Wiley

A Probabilistic Assessment of the Next Geomagnetic Reversal

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0094-8276
eISSN
1944-8007
D.O.I.
10.1002/2018GL077061
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Deterministic forecasts for the next geomagnetic reversal are not feasible due to large uncertainties in the present‐day state of the Earth's core. A more practical approach relies on probabilistic assessments using paleomagnetic observations to characterize the amplitude of fluctuations in the geomagnetic dipole. We use paleomagnetic observations for the past 2 Myr to construct a stochastic model for the axial dipole field and apply well‐established methods to evaluate the probability of the next geomagnetic reversal as a function of time. For a present‐day axial dipole moment of 7.6 × 1022 A m2, the probability of the dipole entering a reversed state is less than 2% after 20 kyr. This probability rises to 11% after 50 kyr. An imminent geomagnetic reversal is not supported by paleomagnetic observations. The current rate of decline in the dipole moment is unusual but within the natural variability predicted by the stochastic model.

Journal

Geophysical Research LettersWiley

Published: Jan 28, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ;

References

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