Sunday, May 19, 2024
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
Unexplained Mysteries
You are viewing: Home > News > Science & Technology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
All ▾
Search Submit

Science & Technology

Earth's magnetic north pole is on the move

By T.K. Randall
February 6, 2019 · Comment icon 24 comments

The Earth's magnetic field has flipped many times in the past. Image Credit: NASA / Peter Reid
Our planet's magnetic north pole is reportedly moving towards Siberia at a rate of 34 miles per year.
This surprising trend, which saw the pole cross an international date line back in 2017, has the potential to cause considerable disruption to magnetic navigation systems.

Scientists have been struggling to keep the official map of the world's magnetic field up-to-date.

"We know from old ships' logs that in the past 400 years, the north magnetic pole has hung around northern Canada," said Ciaran Beggan of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh.

"Until the 1900s, it moved perhaps tens of kilometres, back and forth. But in the past 50 years it started to move north, and in the past 30 years it started to accelerate away."
"It went from moving at about five to 10km a year to 50 or 60km a year today."

This rapid movement of the magnetic north pole has been attributed to turbulence in the liquid outer core of the planet where a narrow stream - similar to a jet stream - is thought to have appeared.

The Earth's magnetic field has actually been getting weaker over the last few decades, leading to speculation that it could eventually flip entirely - meaning that compasses will start to point south.

It's something that has happened numerous times throughout Earth's history.

"It's not a question of if it's going to reverse, the question is when it's going to reverse," said Beggan.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (24)

Other news and articles
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by Nnicolette 5 years ago
Then perhaps it was wandering and unsure but has decided to go home. As a kid I always heard it wandered between russia and canada but i guess the curiosity is the speed?
Comment icon #16 Posted by Essan 5 years ago
A useful blog piece on magnetic excursions and the possible consequences, with specific reference to the last one ~41kya.  Significantly there doesn't seem to be any correlation between a magnetic excursions and global cooling  (worth reading the comments at the end of the piece)
Comment icon #17 Posted by Nnicolette 5 years ago
Yeah i agree google keeps giving me that answer and what im reading hardly sounds credible and goes against all the other answers. But you know there was a time cern made several posts referring to other dimensions as well. Personally i already fully believe they are there and its why we cant percieve dark matter, only its gravitational effects. We arent on the only plane here. I think it does relate to the gravitational and electromagnetic poles but let me not get distracted... It might not be as far fetched as you think. As I mentioned Cern has put forward the sane idea here is a link  ht... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
Historically, the magnetic pole has remained more-or-less in the Canadian Islands until about ten or fifteen years ago when it started heading northwest in a more-or-less straight line.  It could become a problem for compasses which depend on it being in northern Canada.  But that wandering habit has necessitated constant adjustments, so this may be just one more adjustment. Could it affect weather?  The Chandler Wobble, which is much smaller than this, is detectable in tree rings.  I think the wobble has its affect by slight changes in weather, so if a wobble of 150 meters can affect tree... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Nnicolette 5 years ago
I'm seeing all this and still dont understand why we dont build more underground. Cosmic rays might not be fun.
Comment icon #20 Posted by bison 5 years ago
The closest scientifically settled connection between gravity and magnetism I can find, is this: In relativity theory energy has mass. A magnetic field has energy, therefor mass. Mass confers gravity. Then, too, a magnetic field can confer momentum on matter. Momentum is related  to gravity, through force. In this sense there is a connection between magnetism and gravity. However, the mass of Earth's magnetic field is  on the order of 20 kilograms, which, given the immense weight of the Earth, is less than negligible. The question to which I was responding asked a practical question about Ea... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Socks Junior 5 years ago
"Magnus magnes ipse est globus terrestris."  Although it's probably more accurate to call it a great moving magnet. This year-ish variation is called secular variation, and really tends to make the geomagnetic pole wander around the North Pole. Business as usual. For the amount of time it has spent hanging around Canada, a change was inevitable. As far as a magnetic reversal goes, the main concern vis-a-vis reversals is that the strength of the field is dropping. Which is what we typically see in a reversal - field drops in strength. Should be noted that the field strength is still quite... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by .AKUMA. 5 years ago
Are Magnetic pole shifts something to worry about? short awnser Yes!! the reason being that during a reversal the earths magentic field is significantly reduced and is constantly fluctuating, this will not only cause serious damage to satellites but also cause pockets on the earth that receive much less protection from the fluctuating field. expect an increase in skin cancer and potentially very little protection from solar and cosmic rays, that could wreck havoc on infrastructure. on the plus side during the reversal you could indeed see the northern lights in many areas accross the globe.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Seti42 5 years ago
I agree, and there are lots of practical reasons to build underground. Unless you live in an area prone to flooding, of course. Personally (if I had lots of money) I'd have a home that was small above ground, large underground, and a yard that was mostly solar panels with at least one wind turbine. Then again, I live in New Mexico, where that all makes a lot more sense than it does in wetter regions close to sea level. I think a reason many people don't want to be cave-dwellers is the need/desire for lots of natural light. Which is a good argument too...
Comment icon #24 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
I agree. This is really old news.  This has been known for years. Another reason for the change in weather patterns.  This will really muck with any migratory animal.  Geese will be egetting lost or showing up in entirely new places. With the slight change in the Earth's axis angle, humans are going to be in for "fun".

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

Our new book is out now!
Book cover

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News


Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!
Patreon logo

Support us on Patreon


For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

Top 10 trending mysteries
Recent news and articles