The magnetic pole of our planet is constantly shifting. Researchers have been measuring the location of this pole ever since James Clark Ross first identified it in 1831, on the Boothia Peninsula in the Nunavut province of Canada. In recent times, the magnetic north pole has been moving closer and closer to Siberia.
Scientists from Denmark and the U.K. now declare that they have uncovered the reason for the previously unexplained shift in the magnetic pole of Earth. It appears to all be due to two large lobes of magnetic force which are moving near the core of our planet.
According to the paper published in the May 5 issue of Nature Geoscience, the magnetic north pole is the place where the magnetic field seems to point directly downwards. The fact that this pole does not have the same location over time has fascinated scientists.
What generates the planet’s magnetic field is molten iron found near the outer core of Earth. Depending on how this iron flows, the location of the poles changes. Over the lifetime of our planet, they have changed their places and even swapped between themselves several times. In the years 1999 to 2005, the magnetic north pole went from going towards Siberia at a rate of 9 miles per year to an impressive 37 miles per year.
Using data from over 20 years of data from satellites issued by the European Space Administration, the conclusion has been reached that the shifting of poles is caused by large-scale lobes of negative magnetic flux. This all talks place in the outer layer of our planet, just beneath the surface. These lobes are thought to be somewhere between Siberia and Canada.
In the period 1970 to 1999, this flow changed. The reason for the sudden shift is attributed to the spreading of one of the magnetic lobes.