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Is the Earth’s magnetic poles moving?

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Yes, it is true that the Earth’s magnetic pole is moving towards Siberia by about 40 kilometers per year.  Scientists know why it is moving, but it is not known why it is moving so fast.  But before explaining it, let us see what is a magnetic pole and how it originated.

Earth poles: Earth has two poles.  One is called the geographic pole and the other is a magnetic pole.  If you look at this picture, both are shown:

earth's pole move

Every phone has a compass.  If you run the compass on your phone and turn it towards N then it will be towards the magnetic pole.

This pole is moving towards Siberia at a great speed.


Importance of Magnetism in the context of Earth: If there is life on Earth, then it is due to the Earth being magnetized.  If there was no magnetism on Earth, the rays emanating from the sun, called the solar wind, would have blown most of the atmosphere of the earth.  This is what happened on Mars.  Initially, there was water on Mars.  But Mars did not have magnetism and because of this, its atmosphere was blown by the solar wind.  Water cannot remain without the atmosphere.  The pressure of the atmosphere is required for the water to remain fluid.  4 billion years ago, mars might look like this and there might have been seas too

To understand why the Earth is magnetized, one has to understand what is inside the Earth.  If you cut the earth, it will look like this below.

  • The topmost part of it is called the upper mantle.
  • The mantle at the bottom of it.
  • The underside of it is called the outer core which is the fluid.
  • There is a solid core below it which is called the inner core.

The rotation of the core below brings magnetism to the Earth.  It makes the Earth magnetized like a dynamo.  This is called The Dynamo Theory, and this is due to the rotation of this solid inner core.

This magnetic field of the Earth protects us from the harmful radiation of the Sun.  If the Earth had not been magnetized, life on Earth would not have happened, like Mars.

Why the Earth’s magnetic pole is changing?  Now we can answer your question.  Although the science behind it is not fully known, there is an assumption.  As we have shown, the Earth is magnetized due to the core’s oscillation.  The rate of rotation of the core changes.  The reason for this is that there is convection inside the outer core of the Earth.  It is just like when you heat the water, the currents of the convection arise in the water.  It occurs in a very large form inside the Earth.  For this reason, the rotation of the core changes and the magnetic pole also changes.

It is not likely to cause any harm but the change is happening at such a speed that the scientists are forced to update the “World Magnetic Model” before time. The Model is usually updated every five years, the last model was updated in 2015 and was supposed to last up to the end of 2020 but with this alarming rate of speed of change, the scientists have decided to update it on 15th January 2020 itself.

Thus, with this speed of change, there is likely a possibility of a quicker geomagnetic reversal, and the impact of the same would be visible in the coming time.

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