Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Earth’s magnetic field, the North Pole, has been moving north. In the last 20 years, geomagnetic Arctic migration has suddenly accelerated, exceeding expectations. The geomagnetic Arctic has now crossed the meridian, the LifeScience S. The U.S. National Environmental Information Center and the British Geological Survey predict that the movement will continue, but at a slower pace. Whether the magnetic pole “run away from home” will have unpredictable consequences is a matter of concern.
“Unusual” movement of the geomagnetic north pole
As early as the early 17th century, it was known that there was a huge magnetic field on Earth. This magnetic field protects life on Earth from cosmic rays and prevents the solar wind from touching the ionosphere. The strength of the magnetic field and the position of the magnetic pole are not static.
Over the past 20 years, the geomagnetic Arctic has been moving to Russia at a rate of about 34 miles (55 kilometers) a year, equivalent to 150 meters a day, moving faster than at any time in the past four centuries, drawing the attention of scientists around the world.
The World Geomagnetic Field Model (WMM), an important part of modern navigation systems, is routinely updated every five years, and the existing model was supposed to be valid until 2020, but geomagnetic experts updated ahead of schedule in January because of the rapid movement of the geomagnetic North Pole.
The 2020 edition of the World Geomagnetic Field Model shows the “black barrier zone” around the geomagnetic north pole. Picture/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The British Geological Survey and the U.S. National Environmental Information Center confirmed this week that the geomagnetic Arctic has crossed the meridian, Russian satellite news agency RIA News reported. According to the latest 2020 version of the geomagnetic field model, the geomagnetic arctic will continue to move to Russia in the future, but at a rate that will drop from 55 km/h per year to about 40 km per year, bgS said in a statement.
Although the geomagnetic Arctic is moving at a slower rate, it is almost three times faster than it was 100 years ago. In addition, the data show that the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field will continue to weaken, by about 5% every 100 years, due to the movement of the geomagnetic north pole.
According to CNN, it is widely believed that a weakening magnetic field may be a sign that the Earth’s magnetic pole is about to reverse. When the Earth’s magnetic field weakens to about 10% of the total magnetism, the direction of the magnetic field will change about 180 degrees, and then the magnetic will strengthen again in the reverse direction.
The geomagnetic north and geomagnetic Antarctic have been flipped numerous times in the history of the polar and geomagnetic Antarctic. A study by Us scientists shows that the latest reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field lasted at least 22,000 years, longer than expected.
Why does the geomagnetic north pole move faster?
In fact, geomagnetic fields, including geomagnetic poles and magnetic lines, have been changing non-linearly, but in the mid-1990s, the geomagnetic north pole suddenly accelerated, accelerating from 15 km per year to 55 km per year.
Ciaran Beggan, a geomagnetic expert at the British Geological Survey (BGS), told the Beijing News that liquid iron-nickel fluid was flowing outside the core at a temperature of 3,000 Kelvin. Its viscosity is very low, the same as surface water, so it is very easy to flow, resulting in a large amount of electronic motion, forming a magnetic field.
‘What happened to the earth’s heart is not known for sure because it’s 3,000 kilometers under our feet,’ Bergen admits. However, the “generator theory” of geomagnetics can infer possible causes. There are two large magnetic fields near the North Pole, below Canada and Siberia in Russia. The injection of liquid iron fluid beneath the Canadian region causes the magnetic field near Canada to weaken, and the geomagnetic north pole is “pulled” towards Siberian, where the magnetic field is stronger. As Canada’s magnetic field continues to weaken, the geomagnetic Arctic will continue to move toward Russia. However, there are many factors affecting the Earth’s magnetic field, and the “generator theory” needs further observation and research.
“It’s like predicting weather 100 years ago, when people knew a lot about the physics of the atmosphere, but still couldn’t accurately predict it. It is also very difficult to predict geomagnetic motion today. “
The Earth’s magnetic field is weakening, will the magnetic pole reversal occur in the short term?
In the 1920s, Japanese geophysicist Hideki Matsuyama first investigated geomagnetic reversals. Based on the findings of a new generation of lava in Japan, North Korea and other countries, he suggested that the geomagnetic field may have been reversed. The most recent geomagnetic reversal, which occurred 780,000 years ago.
As the Earth’s magnetic field weakens, there are fears of a reversal of the poles. “We will not witness a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles,” sheeran Bergen made clear. ‘If we look at the history and archaeological records of the magnetic field over the past 10,000 years, we can see that today’s magnetic field is about its average strength, ‘ he said. This means that there is nothing unusual about the dynamics of the field. But in the last 400 years, we haven’t seen the magnetic poles change so rapidly, using scientific measurements.
According to the geological record of the magnetic field frozen in the lava flow, magnetic pole reversals typically take 5,000 to 10,000 years, or even slower. We won’t see this happen in our lifetimes.
If the magnetic pole is reversed, what impact will it have on our lives?
The most intuitive effect that people can feel when the Earth’s magnetic pole flips is that the compass will no longer point to the south. A small number of people believe that geomagnetic reversals can lead to devastating disasters. In response, Mr Bergen said there was no need to worry.
Geomagnetic reversals will be a very slow process, he said, and life on Earth, including humans, has plenty of time to adapt to the process. In fact, the most affected by geomagnetic reversal are science and technology, communications equipment, such as satellites, power grids, navigation systems and so on. Because once the Earth’s polar reversal struck the Earth’s magnetic field, cosmic rays would pound the Earth’s atmosphere and the ionosphere, potentially causing ionospheric storms that could cause damage to the above equipment. But even if we assume that the process of magnetic pole reversal is only 1,000 years old, human intelligence will be enough to find a way to protect technology and equipment from interference.
In addition, Bergen believes that when the magnetic pole is reversed, even the main magnetic field weakens or even disappears. There will still be weak magnetic fields, as well as the Earth’s atmosphere, which can protect plants and animals and humans from cosmic rays such as solar radiation.
What are the reasons for this early update of the World Geomagnetic Field Model (WMM)?
The world geomagnetic field model is a global geomagnetic field model that describes the earth’s main magnetic field and its long-term changes. Developed jointly by the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) and the British Geological Survey (BGS), it provides navigation and orientation services to the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.K. Department of Defense, NATO and the International SeaWay Surveying Organization, as well as a wide range of measurement systems such as civil navigation and positioning systems.
This year, wMM’s early update sparks concern. Bergen, a geomagnetic expert involved in the model update, said it was the first time it had been updated outside the planning cycle. “When we conducted our research and forecasts in 2014, we underestimated the speed at which the geomagnetic North Pole moved at a rate of 45 kilometers per year and the actual speed of movement was 55 kilometers, an error that was beyond the WMM limit. After asking the main client, we decided to update wMM in advance. “In fact, it is difficult for users outside the Arctic region to detect changes to the WMM. Recently, the U.S. National Geophysical Data Center and the British Geological Survey have adapted WMM’s building codes to create models with greater precision and reduce errors.
How is the Earth’s magnetic field measured?
Bergen explained that a network of hundreds of ground-based observatories, as well as dedicated satellites, including the European Space Agency’s Swarm satellite and China’s Zhang Heng-1 satellite, are responsible for measuring the Earth’s magnetic field. Ground-based observatories are good at distinguishing between long-term changes in the same position of magnetic fields, and dedicated satellites have the advantage of being able to cover the entire planet. However, satellite data makes it difficult to calculate changes in magnetic fields in real time. Therefore, ground observation sits must be combined with dedicated satellites in order to map a good magnetic field.