Emergency – Earth’s Magnetic Pole Racing Towards Russia – do you know where you are? #geology #earth #earthscience

Map showing North Pole movement over timeThe World Magnetic Model supports navigation from ships and airlines to your cell phones. It’s gotten out of sync with our planet, thanks to the North Pole’s gentle drift turning into a gallop.

We know the magnetic poles move with respect to the Earth’s surface…

Yet in recent years, scientists noticed something unusual: Magnetic north’s routine plod has shifted into high gear, sending it galloping across the Northern Hemisphere—and no one can entirely explain why… Curiously, its polar opposite, magnetic south, has moved little during this time. NatGeo

The US government has finally issued an updated model, so we can all know where we are again.

North Pole on a map from 1539

Map from 1539 shows the North Pole as an “island of magnets”

The current movement isn’t the oddest thing the North Pole does. Magnetic north and south trade places every 200,000 to 300,000 years, so if the planet were on a schedule (and it’s not) I’d say we’re overdue.

That doesn’t mean doomsday is coming. The flip seems to be more of a polar meander. Migrating wildlife should have time to adjust. We may see a rise in cosmic radiation, but Earth’s magnetic field varies all the time and we’re still here, so that shouldn’t be too big a deal.

The magnetosphere is generated by Earth’s liquid core, and so far, we can’t dig deep enough to impact that. This is one planetary factor beyond human control. We’re just here for the ride.