Earth’s magnetic pole is moving towards Siberia at record-breaking speed

Date:19 December 2019 Author: Leila Stein Tags:,

It is well-known that the magnetic poles of our planet are on the move, but it has now been observed that the magnetic North pole is moving towards Siberia at a record-breaking speed.

This unprecedented movement by the pole has scientists baffled. Despite expecting the pole to move owing to the flow of molten iron in the core of the planet, the incremental speed increase is clear compared to historical records.

(NOAA NCEI/CIRES)

“This wandering has been generally quite slow, allowing scientists to keep track of its position fairly easily,” the NOAA’s National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI) explains on its website.

But now, the magnetic north pole accelerates at an average speed of 55 kilomteres a year.

“The movement since the 1990s is much faster than at any time for at least four centuries,” geomagnetic specialist Ciaran Beggan from the British Geological Survey (BGS) told FT.

Although researchers can’t tell why this is happening, they can map Earth’s magnetic field to try predict what will happen in the future. This is called the World Magnetic Model (WMM), and it represents the magnetic field that helps power tools like GPS and systems at NASA and the military.

“We really don’t know much about the changes in the core that’s driving it,” said Beggan.

Image: Pexels

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