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Ordinary Compasses Thrown Off by Changes in Earth's Magnetic Field

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posted on Feb, 25 2011 @ 04:40 PM
Just found this story on Fox news of all places! Looks like the Magnetic Pole Shift is gaining momentum -

The Earth's magnetic field is changing at an increasing rate, throwing off airports and altering the aurora borealis -- and its effect on ordinary compasses could mean the difference between homeward bound and hopelessly lost

Earth’s northernmost magnetic point -- or magnetic north -- is distinct from its geographic North Pole, and scientists have long known that the magnetic poles are on the move

But the magnetic poles have been moving faster lately, sliding towards Siberia at 34 miles per year at a speed that's accelerated 36 percent over the last 10 years, according to the United States Geological Survey, or USGS

Depending on location and journey length, unaware hikers or boaters could find themselves hundreds of miles off course if they don’t calibrate for the shift, experts said

The magnetic shift is costing the aviation and marine industries millions of dollars to upgrade navigational systems and charts, Floridas Sun Sentinelreported.

The polar shift is directly related to the movement of Earth’s magnetic field, which in turn, is related to the movement of Earth’s liquid iron core. The core is in a constant state of convection, or the transfer of heat within fluids. Since the core is convecting, it produces what Love referred to as a “naturally occurring electrical conductor.” And with electric current comes the magnetic field.

Fluctuations in the magnetic field have occurred for hundreds of thousands of years, so the shifting pole doesn’t exactly worry scientists. Sometimes the movement is slow, sometimes fast. The rapidity of the change has to do with the amount of activity going on in the earth’s core. But over time, the axel pole and the magnetic pole eventually equal one another

Add to the ever evolving nature of Earth’s magnetism the fact that the overall magnetic field has been decreasing as well. Scientists have only been able to measure the intensity of the field since the 1830s, but ever since then, its strength has been on the decline, having decreased by about 10% since it was first measured. But for those concerned with this polar shift -- or even a possible polar reversal -- Love says there is no need to worry in our lifetime

Looks like no need to worry in our lifetime, but none the less, a very concerning and interesting story. What will the future hold with a decreasing Magnetic field? What implications would this have on a technology dependant society that frequently encounters Solar flares, CME's etc.

What would be the implications of changing poles?

Could this process speed up faster than scientists actually know of?

edit on 25-2-2011 by grantbeed because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2011 @ 05:05 PM
Recently the magnetic changes cause some airports to renumber their runways.

Back in '05, Scientific American had a great article about the geo-dynamo.

None of this is fringe science or conspiracy theory kind of stuff. It has happened before and will happen again. The scary part is what if we get massive CME's and gamma ray bursts when our shields are down. Could be catsrophic.

posted on Feb, 25 2011 @ 05:10 PM
reply to post by grantbeed

Please spell the name of your sources right, it's Faux News. On a more serious note, good article but really nothing new, TBH we really have no idea how the magnetic field or the core of the earth operate so all of this "knowledge" is really just guess. For all we know tomorrow the poles will shift in 20 minutes and we will all die from solar radiation, or in 5 million years it will happen, who the hell knows. S+F

posted on Feb, 25 2011 @ 10:35 PM
reply to post by KevinB

The magnetic field does not protect us from solar radiation, the atmosphere does that. It does protect the atmosphere from the solar wind though. A billion years or so after we lost the magnetosphere our atmosphere might be rather thin, maybe something like what happened to Mars' atmosphere.

While the magnetic north pole has been drifting faster now than ever recorded we have no way of knowing what it means. We've known where it is for less than 200 years. The drift could slow, speed up, stop, change, or reverse direction.

Not many people use compasses for long distance navigation nowadays. I don't think changes in declination are going to prove to be a problem.

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 01:27 AM
Thanks for your input Phage.

So regarding the Liquid iron core of our planet. How much is actually known about it?

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 01:32 AM
reply to post by grantbeed

It's pretty hard to study directly.
I think that the general concepts are pretty well in hand. But that doesn't mean that they can't be refined.

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 02:31 AM
reply to post by Phage


this is extrodinary!

scientists from the University of Cambridge have discovered that earlier estimates of 1 degree every year were inaccurate and that the core is actually moving much slower than previously believed -- approximately 1 degree every million years

Unbelievable! Imagine the scientist breaking the news to his workfriends, "sorry guys weve all been wrong on the whole 1yr thing......I challenge you, guess how long....come on....50 bucks to the correct answer....."

Some amazing info though. Just amazing indeed. How does Core actually exist in the first place. It's mind boggling. How can such extremity exist on the inside, yet intelligent life is crawling over the surface. Fascinating.

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