A new study in Nature Geoscience, from two Stanford researchers, indicates that our planet's super-dense, super strong core may not be as strong as we'd thought.
It's very difficult to replicate the kind of ultra-high-pressure environment of Earth's iron core; we can't dig down there and monitor it, so researchers have relied on reading and tracking seismic waves and extrapolating other information from there. The outer core, which is more liquid, produces the geomagnetic field that stretches all the way out past the ionosphere and into space, where it meets the solar wind. That geomagnetic field protects our atmosphere from solar radiation, which could strip away the ozone layer and make life on Earth impossible.
The study is the first to use a tool called a DAC, or diamond anvil cell, to measure the core. A DAC smooshes a very tiny amount of material between two diamonds with incredible force: it's able to exert up to a 300 gigapascals. That's about three million times the pressure on Earth's surface.
In this particular experiment, the researchers stuck a piece of pure iron in there to emulate what goes on in the Earth's core. They found, according to the lead author of the paper, that "The strength of iron under these extreme pressures is startlingly weak." In fact, it's only 40% as strong as previous estimates had indicated, and prone to shearing.
The researchers don't really know what this means. It'll probably impact our understanding of the geomagnetic shield and its effects, however.
"The strength of iron under these extreme pressures is startlingly weak"
Oh my god, Tesla really could have split the world in half.
I also reject the notion that life would be impossible without the ozone layer, after all it does not cover antarctica and we still have penguins. Maybe some life would suffer but life is tougher than you think. It's survived comments that blocked the sun with dust for years, its survived volcanoes that poisoned the atmosphere. Makes me wonder if life existed before the mars sized body struck us forming the moon. Perhaps tiny particles orbited the sky for years and some of those particles contained an ancient life that sprouted anew when they finally landed. That precataclysmic life had intelligent forms that are in stasis deep within Ceres and when we start to mine the asteroid belt they will awaken and reclaim their world from the animals that infest it. Yep yep that's definitely how it happened.
Since we cant monitor the core we couldn't be completely sure its iron. It should be through through the process of elimination... But if a mineral were denser and heavier though wouldn't it all be near the center of the planet. "something undiscovered?"
For the last 150 yeas the magnetic field of the Earth is getting small and in most recent times scientist have note the drease to begaining speed. It is highly possible that the Earth is in the process of a magnetic pole flip.
During the transition the magnetic field of the Earth will get extremely low and for a while will have multiple north and south poles around the Earth, with the Earth being hit extemely hard by solar radation. There might even be a period that the Earth will have no magnetic field with the Earth being hit hardest by solar radtion. This could reduce life on Earth drastically, but not completely.
Eventually the magnetic field will start up and the opposite of poles will be come true, that the North magnetic pole will be on the bottom of the Earth.
Also coincidentally since the industrial revolution or the last 150 years I noted above, the industrial revolution has been noted as a source of possible global warming. Perhaps if the magnetic field of Earth is diminishing and more solar radiation is coming into Earth could be an additional cause of global warming. I really am day dreaming here...
Interesting supporting links of Earths shrinking magnetic field on planet EARTH. After understand the process, ask yourself then how would it effect our environment.
Earth's Magnetic Field Is Fading
The Pole Shift has started
August 18, 2012
The Earth’s magnetic field is weakening, and moving.
Earth’s Weakening Magnetic Field
Add the sun natural cycles, then add human induced carbon warming, finally the reduction of the Earths magnetic field, which could have the largest effect on the environment and few are talking about and taking into account global warming, spells a changing world for humanity predicated in religious apocalyptic history of they sky turning to fire.
If humanity does survive, its size will be of the tiniest percentage in a new world completely alien to anything we have known.
It will be awhile until this new addition of global warming becomes mainstream, simply because there is nothing we can do about it.
"Adaptation" - I see that you reject the notion that life would be impossible without ozone. It's one thing to reject something, but that is all for naught if you can't share meaningful ideas about the topic.
You have apparently failed to understand the full scope of what is meant when you have heard that life without ozone would be impossible. More specifically, when scientists say that, they primarily mean that the terrestrial ecosystem as we know it would eventually perish without ozone. That, of course, includes humans (though perhaps some would survive in shelters with greenhouses, but most would die). This does not mean a loss of the marine ecosystem, nor the cryosphere's ecosystem, nor any subterranean ecosystem. Even so, those current ecosystems would also be highly impacted were the terrestrial ecosystem to perish. Additionally, the marine and lake ecosystems can also be directly affected by UV in their photic zones. One experiment measured a drop of phytoplankton activity by 6-12% in the presence of the ozone hole.
The penguins you mention just might die quite soon without ozone. They would probably develop cataracts and go blind, dying from that if nothing else. Further, they would not have existed today had ozone never been around. Those penguins evolved from creatures that ultimately depended on ozone for their survival. In an imaginary world without ozone, perhaps life would evolve and survive indefinitely, but Earth's life DID NOT evolve as such, and losing the ozone "layer" would result in nearly all land-based forms of life perishing. Much of that is simply because of the nature of the food chain. Other reasons would be the climate change that would ensue, and even the evolution of the atmosphere's chemical composition. In addition to land-based life, life in marine, lake, and ice environments (and airborne life, too) would be affected by the loss of ozone and the corresponding collapse of the terrestrial ecosystem.
Contrary to your absolutist statement, ozone (even the ozone "layer") DOES exist where penguins live, even the southernmost penguins. It even exists over the South Pole when the "ozone hole" is at its lowest thickness. Scientists have *never* measured a column of the atmosphere that had zero Dobson units of ozone.
In selected locations for brief, seasonal periods, some ozone levels have been measured below 100 Dobson units, I think in the 80's was the lowest. The normal amount away from the poles is very roughly 300 units. While the "ozone hole" can exhibit quite low values, they are far from zero.
Our society's body of evidence-based knowledge of ozone (and its importance to life) was built up by highly intelligent, dedicated scientists of good character. Their goal is truth, and nothing less. Please consider that when you make you comments.
Additionally, though people like myself have much to do in our lives, we find that we must either allow misinformed comments like yours to stand without comment, or else we must sacrifice precious time pointing out crucial facts and considerations. Please consider that when you post in the future.
p.s. - Here's just one of many good starting points for a scientific examination of problem of the ozone hole and ozone depletion: www[DOT]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1609402.