The shift would inevitably change the way world navigates itself using not just ships, maps, smart phones but a plethora of tools to map journey of life.
There is a turf war out there to control the location of Earth’s north magnetic pole. The winner appears to be visible from a distance. This is due to the sudden sprint observed in the drift of Earth’s magnetic pole towards Siberia pivoting away fast from Canada.
The pace in the shift isn’t a subject of interest for scientists alone. The shift would inevitably change the way world navigates itself using not just ships, maps, smart phones but a plethora of tools to map journey of life.
Earth’s north magnetic pole: A brief intro
According to EarthSky report, the location of Earth’s north magnetic pole appears to be controlled from deep within Earth by 2 competing blobs in the magnetic field. One present beneath Canada, and the other beneath Siberia. Domain experts now say “The Siberian blob is winning.”
Magnetic North Pole trajectory
A look back tells us that until the early 1990s, the magnetic North Pole was known to lie some 1,000 miles south of true north, in Canada. The magnetic north drift had a trajectory observed at a rate of up to about 9 miles (15 km) a year. The decade preceding the millennium year witnessed the drift of Earth’s magnetic North Pole turn into “more of a sprint,” say scientists. Currently its speed is about 30 to nearly 40 miles a year (50-60 km a year) toward Siberia. Scientists, using satellite measurements, have confirmed the rapid cruise.
Speeding drift and Consequence
What does the speeding drift mean? Experts say the consequences are far and wide. One of the major consequences being the need to adjust the World Magnetic Model with these changes and the location of the pole.
The model is vital for many navigation systems used by ships, Google maps and smartphones, for example, findings on magnetic north, using SWARM satellite data. The SWARM satellites carry sophisticated magnetometers.
Earth’s North Magnetic Pole position
The data showed that the position of the north magnetic pole is determined largely by a balance, or tug-of-war, between two large lobes of negative flux at the boundary between Earth’s core and mantle under Canada.
Phil Livermore, from the University of Leeds has explained, by examining field maps and how they change after some time, we have been able to deduce why the pole has shifted from Canada to Siberia. A flux in the circulation pattern under the crust geographically located under Canada has caused a patch of magnetic field at the edge of the core, deep within the Earth, to be stretched out.
Will the pole will ever return to Canada or continue heading south. Livermore has also explained that the models of the magnetic field within the core suggest that, at least for the next few decades, the drift of the pole towards Siberia will not stop.