Conspiracy Theorist Blames Unfounded Claims of 'magnetic Shift' for Brazil Floods - Latest Global News

Conspiracy Theorist Blames Unfounded Claims of ‘magnetic Shift’ for Brazil Floods

<span>A screenshot of a post on X taken on May 14, 2024</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/OiPM0FfgyKsSKDGEfDQd5w–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTEzMTU-/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/c229870e61e009 28935e8dbe1c0620a2″/><span></div>
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A screenshot of a post on X taken on May 14, 2024

The same Blue Check account, which has more than 70,000 followers, has promoted similar theories about extreme weather events in widely shared posts.

Almost 400 cities and municipalities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul are affected by heavy rains.

Experts link the historic flooding to climate change exacerbated by the El Niño weather phenomenon, which of course can impact rainfall levels (archived here and here).

Following the floods, there was a wave of related conspiracy theories in the country, some of which AFP debunked in Portuguese.

But experts told AFP there is no link between magnetic poles and climate change, while scientists in Brazil have been studying the effects of anthropogenic warming on rainfall for decades.

Against principles of physics

“There is no scientific evidence that global warming is linked to either shifts in the magnetic poles or reductions in Earth’s magnetic field strength,” says Ingrid Cnossen (archived here), independent space weather and space exploration research fellow at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). atmospheric team, told AFP on May 14.

A spokesman for NASA’s Langley Research Center (archived here) told AFP on May 13 that there is no “relationship between the movement of our magnetic poles and climate,” pointing to an article (archived here) on NASA’s website, in which the theory was refuted.

The movement (archived here) of liquid iron and nickel buried deep beneath the Earth’s surface creates its magnetic field (archived here) – this movement causes our planet’s magnetic poles to shift (archived here), eventually changing the locations entirely reversed approximately every 300,000 years. Animals that rely on the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation, such as birds or sea turtles, could temporarily lose their orientation as a result of the shift.

“While this may sound like a big deal, pole reversals are common in Earth’s geological history,” and there is no evidence of major changes or species extinctions, contrary to what “doomsday scenarios” often suggest, the writes NASA in their blog post.

The space agency adds that the shift doesn’t happen overnight, but rather over hundreds or thousands of years.

According to NASA, there is no evidence that our climate has been significantly affected by previous magnetic field excursions within the last 2.8 million years.

Additionally, NASA scientists note that there is no known physical mechanism that could link weather conditions on Earth’s surface – such as atmospheric conditions – to electromagnetic currents responsible for the pole shift.

<span>Comparing satellite images of the city of Porto Alegre in southern Brazil before and after the heavy rains that caused flooding and killed dozens of people</span></p>
<div><span>Guillermo RIVAS PACHECO</span><span >Paz PIZARRO</span><span>AFP</span></div>
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Comparing satellite images of the city of Porto Alegre in southern Brazil before and after the heavy rains that caused flooding and killed dozens of people

Guillermo RIVAS PACHECOPeace PIZARROAFP

Carlos Nobre (archived here), head of Brazil’s National Institute of Science and Technology on Climate Change (INCT), listed what scientists believe was the cause of the devastating recent rains: A low-pressure system was blocked by a high-pressure system in the midwest and southeast of the country Cold fronts persisted across the region, even as water vapor flowing in from the Amazon contributed to historic downpours.

Global warming has exacerbated the situation, Nobre told AFP in a previous story, adding that “the warmer atmosphere can retain much more water vapor, leading to more frequent and intense rainfall, leading to disasters like this.”

Convergence with climate models

Lincoln Muniz Alves (archived here), climatologist at Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais) and a lead author from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed. “The tragedy in southern Brazil has a well-known cause and consensus among climate experts,” he said.

The broader impacts of these weather events are linked to global climate change, he told AFP on May 9.

“The increasing severity and frequency of such events is likely related to rising temperatures on the planet, although more detailed attribution studies are needed to confirm this,” he added.

<span>Aerial view of flooded rice plantations in Eldorado do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, taken on May 9, 2024</span></p>
<div><span>Nelson ALMEIDA</span><span>AFP</ span></div>
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Aerial view of flooded rice plantations in Eldorado do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, taken on May 9, 2024

Nelson ALMEIDAAFP

Chou Sin Chan (archived here), a weather modeling researcher and lead author of the IPCC, told AFP on May 10 that “global and regional climate model projections for future climate have shown with high certainty an increase in precipitation in the areas south.” from Brazil, Uruguay and north of Argentina.

The IPCC also noted in previous reports (archived here and here) that “significant increases in rainfall” have been observed in the region in the past.

João Paulo Brêda (archived here), an environmental engineer specializing in large-scale hydrology, told AFP on May 9 that “the extraordinary event that is now taking place corresponds to the predictions of climate models.”

AFP has debunked other claims about extreme weather events in other regions and their links to climate science here and here.

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