Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why

Posted: January 10, 2019 by oldbrew in Geology, Geomagnetism, Measurement, News, Uncertainty
Tags: ,

Arctic region

At last – something that can’t be blamed on Brexit! Just joking of course, and wandering poles can be a serious matter for navigators.

Erratic motion of north magnetic pole forces experts to update model that aids global navigation.
– – –
Something strange is going on at the top of the world, a Nature article says.

Earth’s north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron sloshing within the planet’s core.

The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move.

On 15 January [now delayed], they are set to update the World Magnetic Model, which describes the planet’s magnetic field and underlies all modern navigation, from the systems that steer ships at sea to Google Maps on smartphones.

The most recent version of the model came out in 2015 and was supposed to last until 2020 — but the magnetic field is changing so rapidly that researchers have to fix the model now.

“The error is increasing all the time,” says Arnaud Chulliat, a geomagnetist at the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Centers for Environmental Information.

The problem lies partly with the moving pole and partly with other shifts deep within the planet. Liquid churning in Earth’s core generates most of the magnetic field, which varies over time as the deep flows change.

In 2016, for instance, part of the magnetic field temporarily accelerated deep under northern South America and the eastern Pacific Ocean. Satellites such as the European Space Agency’s Swarm mission tracked the shift.

By early 2018, the World Magnetic Model was in trouble.

Researchers from NOAA and the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh had been doing their annual check of how well the model was capturing all the variations in Earth’s magnetic field. They realized that it was so inaccurate that it was about to exceed the acceptable limit for navigational errors.

Wandering pole

“That was an interesting situation we found ourselves in,” says Chulliat. “What’s happening?”

The answer is twofold, he reported last month at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington DC.

Continued here.

  1. It might not be caused by Brexit, but I suspect Harrabin will blame it on global warming!!

  2. JB says:

    “Geomagnetic pulses, like the one that happened in 2016, might be traced back to ‘hydromagnetic’ waves arising from deep in the core1. And the fast motion of the north magnetic pole could be linked to a high-speed jet of liquid iron beneath Canada2.”

    Perhaps these blokes could find out what’s actually going on, and then update their theories and model?

  3. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    The quickening 😳

  4. oldbrew says:

    From a 2014 news report:

    Earth’s magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm.
    . . .
    The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is that Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia.

    “Such a flip is not instantaneous, but would take many hundred if not a few thousand years,” Floberghagen told Live Science. “They have happened many times in the past.”

  5. ivan says:

    oldbrew, that was my first thought when I read the post. I had seen something about polar reversal way back in 2011 so it is not a new idea by any means.

  6. Saighdear says:

    Must have affected gravity too? No sense of it in the Commons recently? is that where the expression ” awa wi thae faeries” cums fae ? Thae faeries been ae auld rural Hielan Scots word fur the mental state o’ e mannie or affen e aul’ wyfie ! ( Ref. Stanley Baxter )

  7. Richard111 says:

    I’m sure I read somewhere the quiet sun is allowing Earth’s magnetic field to relax. This is allowing more “cosmic rays” into the upper atmosphere causing increased cloud cover and changes in the climate.

  8. tom0mason says:

    We need more alarmism in this report.

    Human generated CO2 has heated the magnetic core so much that it’s magnetically depolarizing. The magnetic core is now becoming more unsustainable, and it’s all due to Anthropogenic Climate Change !
    Only the UN can save us now!


    do I need a sarc tag?

  9. oldbrew says:

    @ Richard111

    What’s Up with Our Weather?
    Posted by Michael Keal | Dec 15, 2017

    Now when there are fewer sunspots (as we are seeing at present), the Sun produces less extreme ultraviolet. So, there is less heating of the upper atmosphere, especially at the pole where it’s winter and the jet stream there starts to wander away in a wavy pattern. As a result, weather becomes more chaotic with cold arctic air plunging much further south than usual giving us severe cold snaps.
    . . .
    Added to this, when the Sun is quiet it is less efficient at blocking incoming cosmic rays, and since these rays trigger cloud formation, a quiet Sun will also give us skies that are cloudier than usual.

    Such ‘cold snaps’ are in many parts of Europe right now, but the UK has escaped them so far.

  10. Jim says:

    Interesting, as the sun’s poles wander thru it’s fields, doesn’t ours follow? Free dynamos align. Ours is offset by our corolias effect, a spinning body, wanders, same as a top. Are we any different? Paleo records show no differences. But interesting.

  11. Gamecock says:

    From 2011. The increased movement has been going on FOR YEARS.

    ‘The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move.

    On 15 January [now delayed], they are set to update the World Magnetic Model, which describes the planet’s magnetic field and underlies all modern navigation, from the systems that steer ships at sea to Google Maps on smartphones.’

    Hyper hype.

    I repeat, this has been going on for years. Are the ‘world’s geomagnetism experts’ idiots? Are unable to deal with what they have been dealing with for years?

    ‘First, that 2016 geomagnetic pulse beneath South America came at the worst possible time, just after the 2015 update to the World Magnetic Model. This meant that the magnetic field had lurched just after the latest update, in ways that planners had not anticipated.’

    Too bad. So you have to work a little more.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Everyone knows it’s been going on for years, but it’s moved quicker recently.

    The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move.

  13. John MacDonald says:

    If you look at the chart in the article, it seems like 2000 to 2010 was the fastest movement period.

  14. oldbrew says:

    John M – it does seem like that, but they say re the N magnetic pole:
    Its rapid motion, plus other shifts in Earth’s magnetic field

    What the other shifts are is not clear.

  15. hunter says:

    This apparent deep and significant movement of mass deep in the Earth raises the question of whether or not we will see a change in detectable seismic activity?

  16. oldbrew says:

    On relationship between variations in solar activity and seismicity

    …it is suggested that earthquakes are triggered by currents in the Global Electric Circuit, which show positive response to cosmic ray changes. As a result, agreement between variations of seismicity and solar activity/cosmic rays is evident.

  17. hunter says:

    Interesting regarding solar activity and Earth.
    My question is more mundane:
    If the Dynamo core is physically shifting, would that possibly create seismic stress?

  18. For the public they pretend not to know what’s happening; in reality they have known since 1948 – there is a periodic cycle of civilization-ending pole shifts and we are due for another very soon. The last North Pole was just west of Hudson Bay in the middle of North America’s ice cap until almost 13,000 years ago when it relocated to its present position. The Magnetic North Pole will accelerate towards Siberia, then eventually (in the early 21st century) the crust will slide over the core in another catastrophic geophysical/rotational pole shift. Read – POLE SHIFT: Evidence Will Not Be Silenced –

  19. I haven’t updated this, perhaps I should.

    Drifting magnetic pole and global temperatures

    Appreciate any comments, as I couldn’t find a cause.

  20. Magnetic poles move first, then a crustal displacement. It happens in regular cycles and we are due for the next catastrophic pole shift in the early 21st century. If interested, read –
    POLE SHIFT: Evidence Will Not Be Silenced
    Earth’s Shifting Crust
    Hamlet’s Mill
    The Adam and Eve Story
    The Dimensions of Paradise
    World in Peril

  21. oldbrew says:

    Earth’s Shifting Magnetic Pole May be Confusing Your Cell Phone

    “Since late 2014, Earth’s core field has varied in an unpredicted, and currently unpredictable, manner [including a sudden change in declination called a ‘geomagnetic jerk‘ in 2014/2015]”