6 votes

Earth's Magnetic Pole Is Wandering, Lurching Toward Siberia

2 comments

  1. [2]
    spctrvl Link
    Pretty lucky this is happening now, rather than a few hundred years ago. Really could have thrown a wrench in the whole age of exploration thing if magnetic compasses were unreliable. Is there...

    Pretty lucky this is happening now, rather than a few hundred years ago. Really could have thrown a wrench in the whole age of exploration thing if magnetic compasses were unreliable.

    Is there anything today that relies on the earth's magnetic field being more consistent, or have we finally got a weird change in the planet that's not worth losing sleep over?

    1 vote
    1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      The magnetic poles have always been mobile. The magnetic poles are created by the movement of molten iron in Earth's core. Like any other liquid in motion, the molten iron moves somewhat...

      The magnetic poles have always been mobile.

      News of the magnetic north's meanderings isn't exactly new. Researchers figured out in the 1800s that magnetic north tended to drift. Then, in the mid-1990s, it began moving faster, from just over 9 miles (15 kilometers) a year to about 34 miles (55 km) annually, Nature reported.

      The magnetic poles are created by the movement of molten iron in Earth's core. Like any other liquid in motion, the molten iron moves somewhat erratically and unpredictably, meaning that the magnetic poles move as well.

      The only difference is the north magnetic pole is moving slightly faster at the moment.

      It has even flipped in the past, so that the north magnetic pole was where the south magnetic pole is now, and vice versa. It has done this hundreds of times.

      https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/question782.htm

      3 votes