The magnetic north pole moves around all the time, up to and over 80 kilometres in a day, now that is a lot, especially compared to the 40 kilometres
a year it is reported to be travelling.
This is due to two things, diurnal motion and the sun.
Diurnal motion is due to the earths axial tilt, and the apparent motion seen at the poles as the earth rotates. In the case of the north magnetic
pole, when tracked on a daily basis it will form an oval shape.
Diagram of the diurnal motion of the magnetic north pole
How much it moves during a 24 hour period is dependent on the sun, namely geomagnetic (solar) storms, the stronger the storm, the greater the movement
of the pole, as seen in the above diagram, despite such great movements, the pole typically maintains a straight path when the movements are averaged
out over a year.
This path is currently moving towards Siberia at an average of over 40 kilometres a year, it is believed this acceleration started around 1970,
readings in 2001 have given us the current direction and velocity, at this current path and velocity it is estimated the pole will reach Siberia by
Diagram showing pole movement during the last century.
Projected pole movement by 2050
Spherical harmonic models have been used to estimate the poles movements as far back as the 1600's, this combined with observations made by
navigators of the day have given us a reasonable idea on where the magnetic north pole has traveled throughout the centuries.
Estimated movement of magnetic north pole since 1600
Now, there is speculation that some sort of sudden movement in the magnetic field or of the north pole has been the cause of all the recent bird and
fish deaths, unfortunately that is all it is, speculation with very little research carried out. An example of this sort of speculation can be found
in a recent thread about Tampa international airport re-designating a runway.
But I digress...Any changes to the magnetic field is recorded and logged at dozens of observation stations scattered all over the northern hemisphere,
some, like Natural Resources Canada
have live data as well as archived data monitoring the magnetic field, looking over the archived data from
the last two weeks has shown no significant change in the magnetic field, this is further backed up by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
, whose weekly summary from the week of 27th December 2010 - 02 January 2011 of solar activity suggests nothing of significance.
So to summarize:
The movement and velocity of the magnetic north pole has been known and measured since 2001, daily variances of up to 80 kilometres have been recorded
in the past and there is no indication that this has happened recently, therefore whatever the link is (if there is one) with the recent animal
deaths, it is safe to say it is unrelated to the magnetic field.
Geological Survey of Canada
NOAA Weekly summary
Geomagnetism Magnetic Observatories - Canada
North Magnetic Pole Is Shifting Rapidly Toward Russia - 2005 National