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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 01:23 AM
Original message
North Magnetic Pole "Galloping Toward Siberia"
Edited on Thu Dec-31-09 02:21 AM by Dover we slouch toward Bethlehem.

North Magnetic Pole Moving East Due to Core Flux
Richard A. Lovett in San Francisco
for National Geographic News

December 24, 2009

Earth's north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet's core, new research says.

The core is too deep for scientists to directly detect its magnetic field. But researchers can infer the field's movements by tracking how Earth's magnetic field has been changing at the surface and in space.

Now, newly analyzed data suggest that there's a region of rapidly changing magnetism on the core's surface, possibly being created by a mysterious "plume" of magnetism arising from deeper in the core.

And it's this region that could be pulling the magnetic pole away from its long-time location in northern Canada, said Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France.


The magnetic north pole had moved little from the time scientists first located it in 1831. Then in 1904, the pole began shifting northeastward at a steady pace of about 9 miles (15 kilometers) a year.

In 1989 it sped up again, and in 2007 scientists confirmed that the pole is now galloping toward Siberia at 34 to 37 miles (55 to 60 kilometers) a year.


...That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 01:33 AM
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1. It's expected to arive at the equator by Dec. 21, 2012
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 01:39 AM
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2. On top of everything else, we now need to worry about a
magnetic pole "flip". They happen every so often. No one knows quite why. The environmental effects could be devastating.

Or maybe not.

"Because the magnetic field has never been observed to reverse by humans with instrumentation, and the mechanism of field generation is not well understood, it is difficult to say what the characteristics of the magnetic field might be leading up to such a reversal. Some speculate that a greatly diminished magnetic field during a reversal period will expose the surface of the earth to a substantial and potentially damaging increase in cosmic radiation."
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. perhaps... and it would seem particularly during a sun spot cycle...n/t
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. There is speculation that the two are related.
Edited on Thu Dec-31-09 12:44 PM by happyslug
Basically the Sun Spot Cycle is about 22 years in duration of two sub-cycles of about 11 year each. One sub-cycle goes from left to right on the sun, the other right to lift as the sunspots go from the polar regions to the Sun's equator.

For more on the Sunspot Cycle see:

The speculation is that since the Sunspot seems to be magnetic field related, that the earth's magnetic fields, when it does change, is triggered by the magnetic changes in the sun during the Sun spot cycle.

More on the Solar Magnetic shift (Please watch out, the web is loaded with crackpot ideas of what will happen if and when the Earth's magnetic fields reverses, the probably answer is that any change will be quite limited, Compasses will point south not north, but beside that no significant change, remember the sun does this every 11 years and the earth has doe it in the past, this is no big deal):

Here are some examples of crack pot theories based on pole reversal. These "theories" are using the classic crack pot concept of taking some proven scientific facts and then adding ideas and "facts" to make a point:
If you read the above cites, please do not post on this thread, I only put them in the context of how some people take the idea of pole reversal to an extreme and for no other reason. Try to keep this thread on pole reversal itself NOT whatever crack pot theory you have heard (or even support).
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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 04:05 AM
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4. Now Palin will be able to see it from her house...!
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. Well, assuming the theory holds that the universe has a moving pattern
that resembles a kaleidescope, it would make sense that a shift would occur.

Shame that we couldn't find another planet to inhabit before it happens, if it happens. The only thing that may help, is if this shift occurs slowly. Like over a period of centuries. Then, at least, we may be able to adapt to it as a species.

Maybe this is why there has been so much interest in caverns? Remember with the british explorer group that had to be rescued from that cave in Mexico? Everybody wondered what they were up to?
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
The earths magnetic poles reverse every so often, it's been known for a long time.

Many scientists say it is likely in the process of switching polarity again now, which it last did about 780,000 years ago.

The question is what happens to the magnetic fields blocking of solar radiation and what till happen to our power and electronics. Obviously it does cause mass extinctions, but it could play hell on modern technology.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-31-09 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
8. So the northern magnetic pole is moving north, in a year at the rate it varies per day
and also moving east. Which doesn't sound particularly dangerous to me. From the link in the piece to an earlier NG article:

The north magnetic pole shifts constantly, in loops up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) wide each day.

The recorded location of the pole is really an average of its daily treks, which are driven by fluctuations in solar radiation.

But since it's going north-east, then this has nothing to do with a pole reversal.

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