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Did you know that the Magnetic North Pole is moving?

North Pole

Do we know what the North Pole is? The most extreme point of our planet and of every planetary body, which is taken as reference’s point.

But the word North Pole can assume many meanings according to the field where is been used. Often we use it to indicate the whole geographical region where it is: the Artic.

Different kinds of North Pole

The word North Pole can assume four meanings according to the field where is been used:

  • Geographic: it is the terrestrial north pole or the real north pole, it indicates the point where the terrestrial axis of rotation crosses the planet’s surface.
  • Inaccessibility: often it is used to indicate the furthest point from every emerged land, of the Artic Glacial Sea, the most inaccessible point.
  • Magnetic North Pole: it’s the point where the terrestrial magnetic field makes an angle of 90° with the planet‘s surface, being so perfectly vertical.
  • Geomagnetic: finally it can be considered the point where the axis of the magnetosphere crosses the terrestrial surface.

Magnetic North Pole

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Movements of the magnetic north pole

The case of the Magnetic North Pole is really important. It makes possible the navigation and the movements, from the localisation systems of the airplanes to the ship’s ones, but even just of the applications available on our smartphones, like Google Maps.

The magnetic north pole is moving, it’s currently in Canada. But it’s the speed of which it’s lately moving to worry the scientists all over the world.

Magnetic field

We said that the Magnetic North Pole is the point where the magnetic field is vertical to the terrestrial surface. But what is it and why do we need the magnetic field?

The magnetic field protects the planet from the cosmic rays and from the solar radiations, making it essential for the life on this planet. Without it the life won’t be possibe.

It’s produced by the movements that take place inside the external core, thousands of kilometers under the terrestrial surface.

Here the planet’s core is mainly composed by liquid iron which is continuosly moving and it creates flows that generate the magnetic field.

The scientists know already for years that the phenomenon is continuosly changing. Change that is made extremely clear by the movement of the magnetic north pole.

Right for this reason once in a while it’s necessary to retouch the systems.

This time though the scientists had to met urgently, because the magnetic north pole is moving too fast.

It’s still in canadian territory, but is moving fast towards the Siberia.

World Magnetic Model

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Model of the magnetic field

The World Magnetic Model is a code of which all the navigation’s systems refer. And it is right this code that have to be regularly upgraded to let work the system of the whole world.

The last time that they touch the code was in the 2015 and no one wondered that it would require a retouch before the 2020.

Therefore, the magnetic north pole is moving too fast and the scientists have been forced to met urgently the last 30th of January.

Arnaud Chulliat, one of the most important geomagnetists arrived for the occasion, says: “The discrepancy between the datas that we are revealing in the last month say that there is something unusual both in proximity of the magnetic pole, and in the depths of the planet”.

Further anomalies

This one, infact, is not the only anomaly found in the terrestrial magnetic field. In the 2016 were noted unusual activities in the Oriental Pacific Ocean, in the north of the South America and in an area of the Atlantic Ocean.

Anomalies that brought to a malfunctioning of many GPS of that area. Firstly the fault was given to a malfunctioning of the satellites, but soon the scientists understood that it was the same terrestrial magnetic field to create problems.

Do we have to worry about this changes of the terrestrial magnetic field?

According to Arnaud Chulliat there is nothing to be worry: “The fact that we have to quickly change the datas can be up to the fact that the impulse registered in the 2016 happened right after that we upgraded the datas World Magnetic Model, that so became obsolete even though they were recent.

Furthermore we have to consider that the magnetic north has a speeded up in the movement which is ongoing at least since the 1800, which is probably connected to a high speed spout that took place in the liquid iron in the depth, next to Canada”.

However the terrestrial magnetic field still leaves many perplexities.

The movement of the magnetic north pole is vertiginously increasing: in the ’90s it was moving of 15 kilometers per year, while now it travels at a speed of 55 kilometers per year.

This post is also available in: Italiano