|And from Zerohedge:|
Earth's Magnetic Field Mysteriously Weakening In Specific Locations, Throwing Off Satellites And Spacecraft
(strangely enough, it was posted shortly after I made a comment over there on an earlier article: zerohedge.com )
"...scientists have identified a large, localized region of weakness extending from Africa to South America, along with a second 'center of minimum intensity' southwest of Africa - both of which are allowing charged particles from the cosmos to penetrate lower altitudes of the atmosphere - throwing off satellites flying in low-Earth orbit, according to Sky."
Known as the South Atlantic Anomaly, the field strength in this area has rapidly shrunk over the past 50 years just as the area itself has grown and moved westward.
Over the past five years a second centre of minimum intensity has developed southwest of Africa, which researchers believe indicates the anomaly could split into two separate cells. - Sky
In fact, the anomaly had puzzled ESA researchers as their Swarm satellites would sometimes ' black out' when flying through the affected region. Three years ago, they observed a link between the blackouts and Ionospheric thunderstorms.
"The new, eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing vigorously," said Dr. Jurgen Matzka of the German Research Center for Geosciences. "We are very lucky to have the Swarm satellites in orbit to investigate the development of the South Atlantic Anomaly. The challenge now is to understand the processes in Earth's core driving these changes."
If this is the beginning of a pole reversal - which happens roughly every quarter-million years, it would result in multiple north and south magnetic poles all around the globe during the multi-century phenomenon.
"Such events have occurred many times throughout the planet's history," said ESA, adding "we are long overdue by the average rate at which these reversals take place (roughly every 250,000 years)"