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The Magnetic North Pole is moving 34 miles a year!

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Offline mule ears

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The Magnetic North Pole is moving 34 miles a year!
« on: February 05, 2019, 07:17:07 AM »
An interesting article about how the magnetic north pole is moving faster than before.

Most of you don't use a compass anymore but this can be a big deal.  My old USGS topographic maps of Big Bend from the '70's have the declination (the difference from true north) at 10.5 degrees.  It is now 6 degrees and changing every year!
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Offline RichardM

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Re: The Magnetic North Pole is moving 34 miles a year!
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 07:23:01 AM »
It'd be nice if it moved up to true North and stayed there. Messing with declination is a pain.

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Offline badknees

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Re: The Magnetic North Pole is moving 34 miles a year!
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 07:24:20 AM »
An interesting article about how the magnetic north pole is moving faster than before.

Most of you don't use a compass anymore but this can be a big deal.  My old USGS topographic maps of Big Bend from the '70's have the declination (the difference from true north) at 10.5 degrees.  It is now 6 degrees and changing every year!

Another tidbit - The movement loops about 50 miles per DAY.
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Offline Flash

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Re: The Magnetic North Pole is moving 34 miles a year!
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 07:53:55 AM »
I have wondered if it is a bit of a pendulum effect, i.e. the closer it gets to true north, the faster it moves...  :eusa_think:

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: The Magnetic North Pole is moving 34 miles a year!
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 10:30:47 AM »
The Guardian left off the last two paragraph's of the Associated Press article by science writer, Seth Borenstein:

"Lathrop sees a flip coming sooner rather than later because of the weakened magnetic field and an area over the South Atlantic has already reversed beneath Earth's surface.

That could bother some birds that use magnetic fields to navigate. And an overall weakening of the magnetic field isn't good for people and especially satellites and astronauts. The magnetic field shields Earth from some dangerous radiation, Lathrop said."


So not only is this messing with us old-school navigators, it's also messing with the birds and the bees and the butterflies.  We're going to wind up with some Arctic Terns in the Sahara. 

As to the why of the movement, one culprit might be changes in terrestrial water mass. The earth's axis of rotation is not fixed, but instead is sensitive to changes in distribution of the planet's mass. The geographic poles, much like the magnetic poles, are always migrating, and in recent years this process, too, has been accelerating. A study published in 2016 persuasively demonstrated a link between the migration of the geographic poles and changes of distribution in terrestrial water mass (liquid + frozen).

https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-why-the-north-pole-is-slowly-moving-towards-london

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/4/e1501693

Though, to the best of my knowledge, no one has demonstrated a causal link between the migration of Earth's geographic poles and the migration of its magnetic poles, it's a fair bet that the factors producing the earth's magnetic field - the coriolis and the convective currents among metallic elements in the outer core - are affected by shifts in the earth's axis and changes in the planet's spin.  And as the above study shows, the orientation of the earth's axis and thus the planet's spin are being affected by climate-mediated changes in the distribution of terrestrial water mass which, like the migration of the earth's geographic and magnetic poles, is also accelerating.  So, while correlation is not causation, the three factors do seem to be tracking each other in intensity.

Anyhoo, I'm with Richard M....I just hope the migration stops at True North.

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Offline badknees

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Re: The Magnetic North Pole is moving 34 miles a year!
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 10:50:56 AM »

Anyhoo, I'm with Richard M....I just hope the migration stops at True North.

It will never stop until the Earth's outer core turns to solid metal or the planets rotation stops....and both may take awhile. :icon_biggrin:

"The planet's rotation is slowing down overall because of tidal forces between Earth and the moon. Roughly every 100 years, the day gets about 1.4 milliseconds longer."

"The Earth's temperature is reducing by something like 100C every billion years"
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: The Magnetic North Pole is moving 34 miles a year!
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 10:59:46 AM »

"The planet's rotation is slowing down overall because of tidal forces between Earth and the moon. Roughly every 100 years, the day gets about 1.4 milliseconds longer."

"The Earth's temperature is reducing by something like 100C every billion years"

This may explain why I feel older and colder and with each passing year.  :icon_wink:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

 


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