Earth's shifting north magnetic pole

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brian livesey
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Earth's shifting north magnetic pole

Post by brian livesey »

The North Magnetic Pole is no longer accurate enough for navigation due to an unusual increase
in its drift over the past few decades. The NMP, currently in Canada's Arctic region, is drifting at the rate of 34 miles a year in the direction of Siberia.
Nasa is one of the organisations that uses the NMP, as does the global military machine, with particular reference to the US military. GPS is unaffected by the NMP drift, as it is satellite-based, but compasses in smartphones, some electronic items, boats and aircraft, rely on the NMP for navigation, if only, in some cases, as a back-up.
The accelerated increase in the drift of the NMP is caused by turbulence in our planet's core. The US and UK update the position of the NMP every five years in December, but this year the update has come earlier because of the speed of magnetic drift. The south magnetic pole is drifting much slower.
Earth's magnetic field is weakening, and scientists say it will flip at some point in the near future, causing reverse polarity. A region under Earth's surface in the South Atlantic has already reversed , and it could affect bird navigation and satellites.
Last edited by brian livesey on Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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skyhawk
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Re: Earth's shifting north magnetic pole

Post by skyhawk »

brian livesey wrote:The north magnetic pole is no longer accurate enough for navigation due to an unusual increase
in its drift over the past few decades. The NMP, currently in Canada's Arctic region, is drifting at the rate of 34 miles a year in the direction of Siberia.
Nasa is one of the organisations that uses the NMP, as does the global military machine, with particular reference to the US military. GPS is unaffected by the NMP drift, as it is satellite-base, but compasses in smartphones, some electronic items, boats and aircraft, rely on the NMP for navigation, if only, in some cases, as a back-up.
The accelerated increase in the drift of the NMP is caused by turbulence in our planet's core. The US and UK update the position of the NMP every five years in December, but this year the update has come earlier because of the speed of magnetic drift. The south magnetic pole is drifting much slower.
Earth's magnetic field is weakening, and scientists say it will flip at some point in the near future, causing reverse polarity. A region under Earth's surface in the South Atlantic has already reversed , and it could affect bird navigation and satellites.

Well it has happened many times before
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brian livesey
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Re: Earth's shifting north magnetic pole

Post by brian livesey »

We can only wonder what the overall effects of reversed polarity might be Skyhawk. Will people with a parting on the left-hand side, suddenly find their hair flipping over to cover it? :wink: .
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JohnM
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Re: Earth's shifting north magnetic pole

Post by JohnM »

If the Earth's magnetic field does reverse it will be quite a slow process. During the reversal the magnetic poles are likley to be in strange places like near the equator and the field is likely to be very weak. This will have some interesting effects on the aurora. Perhaps we will have to fly South to see it.
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JohnM
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Re: Earth's shifting north magnetic pole

Post by JohnM »

There was an interesting post on the BGS blog in January about the unscheduled need to update the World Magnetic Model see http://britgeopeople.blogspot.com/2019/ ... -from.html this has some nice animations of the current declination and how it is changing with time.

Where I live south of London I am about to move from the magnetic western hemisphere (i.e those places where ther declination is West) to the Eastern magnetic hemisphere. Now that the model has been updated (it was delayed by the Trump funding furlough) I need to check if my local declination is still slightly West or I am now in the Eastern (magnetic) hemisphere.

The page at http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/OR ... at_Britain has a good summary and shows that the declination in the UK peaked at around 25 deg West in the early 1800's. The last time the UK had an Easterly declination was around 1650.
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David Frydman
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Re: Earth's shifting north magnetic pole

Post by David Frydman »

The main runway at Heathrow changed from 28/10 to 27/09 some years ago.
That is from 280 degrees to 270 degrees.
The airport was not turned around ten degrees, and the runway was not dug up and rebuilt.

Also the local airport now has one end at 116ft above sea level.
It used to be 115ft.
I presume that the runway was resurfaced or a new measurement was taken.
The height above sea level is important for aircraft, as is the runway direction.

Regards,
David

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