The subject of paleomagnetism intrigued me this week; especially changes in polarities so I decided to research the phenomenon a little more. I wondered how often do the geographic poles change polarity, how fast is the process, and would there be a noted difference because of a polarity change. Due to time constants, I used the internet to look for the information. There seems to be several opinions in the Geo-science arena in regards to this very subject. New Scientist, an internet magazine/blog, had an article titled, “Second super-fast flip of Earth’s poles found.” This article states that the change in polarity generally happens every 300,000 years and that the process can take up to 5000 years to complete the polarity changes. Scott Bogue, a geologist at Occidental College in Los Angeles, however disagrees. He has found evidence that he feels may show that polarity changes can happen rather quickly. “In 1995 an ancient lava flow with an unusual magnetic pattern was discovered in Oregon. It suggested that the field at the time was moving by 6 degrees a day – at least 10,000 times faster than usual.” New Scientist Along with a colleague, a second example was found in Nevada that suggests a four- year rate of change. This new discovery is support for Bogue’s original theory and I found several new articles that have been published in the last 72 hours discussing this newsworthy event. Look out our Geology books will have to be rewritten soon. Nearly every article that I read led me to believe that we (Earth) are due for another polar change soon. Nearly no articles had any idea how this would affect life on Earth but most believed there would be no danger. One article suggested that there might be a problem for bird migration. I began to wonder if scientists believe the magnetic poles have anything to do with migration and if so, have there been any studies of bird migrations that might lead us to think that a polarity reversal was imminent. A new search revealed a National Geographic article posted in 2001 that spoke about birds’ migration directly linked to magnetic polarity. Birds equipped with GPS have begun to change their migratory patterns based on the shift in Earth’s magnetic fields. National Geographic as my search continued, I found the NASA website. There were several posts that caught my attention. A post dated April 5, 2010 revealed that the Sun has changed its magnetic polarity, which it actually does every eleven years. Could this have any bearing on the Earth’s magnetic fields? A post in 2003 written by Sten Odenwald explains that the magnetic field has, over the last 150 years, been losing magnetic strength at the rate of 5% every century. His study revealed that most geologists/geophysicists believe that once the magnetic strength reaches 10%; there will be a polar reversal. His study also revealed that fossil research shows that not much happens because of the polar reversal and life will not change much. [The Astronomy Café] After several hours of researching, I have found that no one has a clear answer on any of my questions. We could be alive to see the poles change or it could happen 2000 years from now. One thing is for sure, inquiring minds are studying to find the answer.