The latest scientific research shows that Earth's magnetic poles are flipping. According to some scientists, this will lead to catastrophic cataclysms, similar to those that killed off the Neanderthals.
The most pessimistic predictions claim that a pole shift can cause continental drift, which will be preceded by frequent earthquakes and a rapidly changing climate.
Geologists explain that a similar drastic change has already happened on Earth during the Stone Age.
But this theory is disputed by the head of the geomagnetism team of the British Geological Survey - Alan Thomson, who says that a pole shift alone cannot cause such serious disasters.
The expert points out that core samples prove that those types of cataclysms on Earth did not occur after a magnetic pole shift.
But for some scientists a magnetic pole switch will be quite a noticeable event. The prognosis is that it will cause solar storms which will allow X-rays emitted from the Sun to reach our planet more easily.
This will happen only if the magnetic field around Earth weakens noticeably. The magnetic field protects us from X-rays and if its strength were to decline, numerous auroras will become visible on Earth.
This will not be a sudden change but a slow process, during which the intensity of the field will grow weaker, and it's highly likely for the field to become more complex for a time - having more than 2 poles, and then for the increase in intensity resulting in a break in the opposite direction, explains Monika Korte from the geomagnetic observatory in Potsdam, Germany.
Employees from the geomagnetic observatory further add that even if the magnetic field weakens, this will not in any way pose a threat to the biological species on the planet, since we are protected by the atmosphere.
But for some researchers, it was the magnetic pole shift which led to the extinction of Neanderthal 55 000 years ago.