Earth's Magnetic North Pole shifting swiftly towards Siberia, no-one knows why
New Delhi : Earth's magnetic pole shifting its position is not new, it happens and that's fine; but what seems unusual is its aimless movement this time with a significant speed towards Siberia.
The swift pace of getting shifted is astounding and has left the scientists confused and it has increased the concerns over navigation, especially in areas of high latitudes.
Under the current circumstances, the geographical 'N' of the earth and the actual North pole of the planet have significant difference. Meanwhile, 'N' is never stationary as the fluctuations in the flow of the molten iron which forms the Earth’s core, continue to affect the Earth’s magnetic field.
Since the first discovery of North pole in 1831, the 'N' has travelled around 2,250 kilometres. Generally, it moves at a very slow pace, helping scientists in keeping a proper track of its position. However, according to the NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI), the drifting speed of the magnetic north pole has gathered pace in the past few decades.
The acceleration has been recorded to be of an average speed of 55 kilometres per year. Although, scientists cannot explain the core fluctuations which are responsible for the drifting of the North pole, the World Magnetic Model (WMM) allows them to map the planet’s magnetic field and calculate its rate of change over passing time.
This system is a representation of the magnetic field observations which power navigational tools such as the global positioning system (GPS), mapping services, as well as consumer compass applications.
The government agencies across the world, including American space agency NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and also the US Forest Service, utilise the magnetic poles in their everyday operations from mapping to air traffic control. Every five years, the WMM readings need to be updated, in order to keep the model accurate. It was last updated in the year 2015, however, the sudden movement of the magnetic north has pushed the WMM to update the model early on.
According to scientists, the magnetic poles do flip in every hundreds or thousands of the years and they will certainly in future. But there have been no evidences which could say that the flip would happen in a near future. However, if there is a flip, there will be some implications on human life as humans depend heavily on the technologies which rely on magnetic poles.