(Version 1): A Physical North-South Pole Shift will essentially flip the world upside down, causing mass destruction from earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanic activity, etc. Also see version 2 below.
Important Fact: This theory actually does have a little science behind it, however ultimately falls short of providing evidence that this will occur on December 21, 2012, if ever.
SO WHAT IS POLE SHIFT?
The scientific community refers to this as “True Polar Wander”. This is when the surface of the earth undergoes a dramatic shift, or slide, essentially displacing entire continents. (Imagine a loose skin sliding around on a grape…. now imagine the Earth’s crust doing the same around the mantle!)
Here are some possible causes of such an event:
1) A giant, high velocity asteroid or comet striking Earth could potentially move the earth’s crust independent of the mantle. Or, it could even shift the entire Earth’s axis.
2) A highly magnetic celestial body, moving close enough to Earth, could theoretically reorient the Earth’s magnetic field, and essentially “drag” the Earth’s crust along as it does. However, once the celestial body moves far enough away to no longer affect the Earth, the Earth’s Magnetic Field would return to normal.
Are any of these two likely for 2012? The answer is no. NASA says that if anything were headed toward Earth, “astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist.”
A third (and less dramatic) scenario:
Scientists theorize that the Earth might need to “rebalance” itself from time to time, due to an uneven distribution of weight far away from the equator. This again could cause the Earth’s lithosphere to slide across the mantle, essentially reorienting the world. Interestingly enough, some recent evidence suggests that this may have happened about 800 million years ago.
But the question is, “how long did it take?”
Doomsdayers would have you believe that these shifts happen suddenly, displacing everything in a matter of minutes. But it’s more likely that re-balancing would happen at a far slower pace than would be noticeable for humans.
expert1A FINAL THOUGHT FROM AN EXPERT:
“Really, the million dollar question is: How long do these shifts take?” says Princeton’s Adam Maloof. Data is indicating that the theorized ancient pole shift happened over a span of a million years or even more. Maloof concludes with:”This is not the kind of thing where you’d have sudden catastrophic events that a human might observe.”
Experts say a pole shift was most likely to occur when the Earth’s land masses were formed into a single supercontinent, as we know happened in Earth’s early history. Today, the continents are much more evenly spread out, making a near future shift even less likely.
Pole Shift 2012 Debunk
(Version 2): A Sudden Magnetic Pole Reversal or weakening of the Earth’s Magnetic Field will leave us exposed to cosmic doom such as asteroids and radiation. Furthermore, our ozone layer would be ripped to shreds further exposing us to cosmic doom!
In this version of the Pole Shift Theory, the ‘shift’ is not a physical shift as with True Polar Wander (see above theory 1). It is instead a Magnetic Shift, where the magnetic North and South pole completely flip. According to doomsdayers the result is the tearing apart of the ozone layer, which leaves us exposed to deadly cosmic radiation, or worse, the total and complete collapse of our magnetic field.
Yes the magnetic pole has been weakening since the 19th century, but this is normal. Just like the tides, the magnetic field waxes and wanes. According to University of California professor Gary Glatzmaier, the present strength of the field (despite the weakening trend) is stronger than normal, when compared to ancient data from magnetized rocks!
Complete Magnetic Pole Reversals are nothing to worry about. Such reversals, which are studied in the magnetism of ancient rocks, are unpredictable, but not dangerous. They happen irregularly, at intervals averaging 300,000 years; the last one according to the ancient rock records was 780,000 years ago. Are we overdue for another? We can’t say, but doomsdayers will have you believe we are.
SO WHAT HAPPENS DURING A REVERSAL?
Here’s a clip from a Nasa Article featuring Gary Glatzmaier:
“…the magnetic field does not vanish. ‘It just gets more complicated,’ says Glatzmaier. Magnetic lines of force near Earth’s surface become twisted and tangled, and magnetic poles pop up in unaccustomed places. A south magnetic pole might emerge over Africa, for instance, or a north pole over Tahiti. Weird. But it’s still a planetary magnetic field, and it still protects us from space radiation and solar storms.”
So even if a reversal was to happen, we wouldn’t have much to worry about. Besides, according to Glatzmaier, they take a few thousand years to complete and don’t just happen overnight!
Pole Shift 2012 Debunk
1) National Geographic http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/ends-of-the-earth-pole-shift-3
2) Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataclysmic_pole_shift_hypothesis
3) NASA http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/29dec_magneticfield.html
4) NASA http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html