Everyone knows the North Pole. This geographical point represents the highest place on Earth. But in fact, there are three different “norths” on Earth. The first, called the geographic, corresponds to the meeting point of the meridians on Earth.
He never moves. The second, magnetic, moves chaotically. Finally, the last one, which is the maps, is only virtual and allows planes and boats to simply move around the Earth.
Therefore, it is the magnetic north that interests scientists. Indeed, its movement is still a mystery, but it is a study published in the famous scientific journal nature Offers an interesting theory.
According to a team of researchers from the University of Leeds, led by Professor Livermore, the movements of the magnetic north are caused by the random flow of molten iron into the core of our planet.
In the Earth’s core, minerals of all kinds are melted. Iron, one of the heaviest and most stable elements in the universe, moves much less than other elements. But these rare moves have consequences that surface.
North is in perpetual motion
Thus, scientists explain that the movement of a few millimeters of iron in the Earth’s core can have an effect of several kilometers on the surface. First discovered in 1830, magnetic north is not perfectly positioned with respect to true north.
This difference has long been explained by the tilt of the Earth on itself. Today, magnetic north, which is across Canada, is approaching Siberia faster than before.
Scientists agreed that the movement of the latter was 10 kilometers per year. Today the movement is about 50 kilometers a year. These contradictions are not without consequences for us.
Sailors and migratory birds: who first cares?
If the changes in daily life are very slight, sailors will undoubtedly be the hardest hit. They are the ones who, along with compasses, use magnetic north the most to find their bearings.
While the latter is in the process of aligning itself with true north, offsets of one to two degrees are no longer necessary. This change should make navigation easier and more accurate. Migratory birds will also be affected by this change.
Birds are not likely to be lost
They feel the movements of the magnetic north and are guided by it. If this current shift was strong enough, it wasn’t enough to lose these birds in flight. They will always find their way once they see the coast.
According to scientists from the Ordnance Survey, an organization that tracks magnetic north, magnetic north’s motions are expected to continue throughout the year. The northern path will pass in a few days on the other side of the Greenwich meridian before leaving the English coast by 2025.
Motions of the magnetic north: the source of many theories
The motions of the magnetic north pole are scientifically explained (and predicted) today, but some groups continue to ascribe miraculous powers to this phenomenon. For many climate skeptics, the acceleration of the magnetic north may be caused by the warming of the sun (yet this is partially true) causing global warming.
No scientific study has ever succeeded in finding a link between magnetic north and global warming in more than 100 years of research, but this idea is still supportable.
“Hardcore beer fanatic. Falls down a lot. Professional coffee fan. Music ninja.”