Earth’s magnetic field is changing at a pace impacting our navigation

Earth’s magnetic field is changing at a pace impacting our navigation


The magnetic north pole is moving from its position which is the base for our navigation. This is one of the reasons why our compass is pointing in a different direction than it used to. Since 1831, the north pole is slightly moving across the Canadian arctic towards Russia. But the shifting has paced to 34 miles/year in recent years towards Cyberia. This shifting pace has forced scientists to change the magnetic model a year ahead than scheduled which is used by the British and US militaries, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and civilian navigation system. It is forecasted by World Magnetic Model 2020 that the magnetic north pole will continue to move towards Russia but the pace will slow down to 24.8 miles/year.

Pole has traveled 1,400 miles since its discovery. After every hundred thousand years, magnetic poles reverse its polarity where the north pole resides in the south pole. This reversal takes many years to complete. About 7,70,000 years ago, the last reversal took place, and it took 22,000 years for a complete reversal. By analyzing global surveys of Antarctic ice cores, lava flows and ocean segments, researchers are studying the effect of the reversal magnetic field. It also helps to study how magnetic field weakens, stabilize and shift over the years. The reversal takes place in the innermost of the earth, but the magnetic effect is experienced at the earth’s surface and the atmosphere at the most.

The earth’s magnetic field is generated because of the interaction of spinning liquid iron ore over the solid inner core. The formation of rocks is in sync with the formation of the magnetic field, and hence the rocks can track the magnetic field. The lava flow is crucial in recording the magnetic field. When they cool down to solidify, they lock the magnetic field. Magnetic readings from the Antarctic iron core and ocean floor help the researchers to study the magnetic field reversal. The magnetic field strength decreases by 5 percent each century showing the signs for magnetic reversal. If the magnetic reversal takes place in these generations, we will face problems in navigation, satellites and communication.

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