What does this mean for the solar system and for the Earth?

Stanford solar physicist Phil Scherrer describes what happens:

"The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. This is a regular part of the solar cycle." A reversal of the sun's magnetic field is, literally, a big event. The domain of the sun's magnetic influence (also known as the "heliosphere") extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the field's polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space.

High-energy particles cosmic rays are also affected. These particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy, are a danger to astronauts and space probes, and some researchers say they might affect the cloudiness and climate of Earth. According to the scientists, 'The current sheet acts as a barrier to cosmic rays, deflecting them as they attempt to penetrate the inner solar system. A wavy, crinkly sheet acts as a better shield against these energetic particles from deep space.'

Scientists will be watching to see the effect of this flip and will announce their findings.

Information provided by NASA.gov.