SECTIONS

 — Sponsored by Ghost Hunter Apps

 

Earth's magnetic north pole is moving too fast for experts to keep up.

A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com), 05/28/2019

Now scientists might know why.  

Earth's magnetic north pole keeps moving. In the past few years, it has moved so much that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an early update to its World Magnetic Model, which informs everything from GPS apps to the US Department of Defense's navigation systems. Scientists aren't certain why the planet's magnetic field, which protects us from deadly solar winds, keeps shifting, but one theory is that geomagnetic pulses in the planet's core throw the field into whack. In a new study, researchers modeled the source and timing of those sudden geomagnetic jerks.

In the Hollywood blockbuster "The Core," the planet's core suddenly stops rotating, causing Earth's magnetic field to collapse. Then bursts of deadly microwaves cook the Colosseum and melt the Golden Gate Bridge. While "nearly everything in the movie is wrong," according to Justin Revenaugh, a seismologist from the University of Minnesota, it is true that Earth's magnetic field shields the planet from deadly and destructive solar radiation. Without it, solar winds could strip Earth of its oceans and atmosphere. But the planet's magnetic field isn't static. The Earth's north magnetic pole (which is not the same as geographic north) has led scientists on something of a goose chase over the past century. Each year, it moves north by an average of about 30 miles. That movement made the World Magnetic Model — which tracks the field and informs compasses, smartphone GPS, and navigation systems on planes and ships — inaccurate. Since the next planned update of the WMM wasn't until 2020, the US military requested an unprecedented early update to account for magnetic north's accelerated gambol. Now authors of a new study have gained insight into why magnetic north might be moving — and are learning how to predict these shifts.

Tracking movement in the Earth's core

Earth's magnetic field exists thanks to swirling liquid nickel and iron in the planet's outer core some 1,800 miles beneath the surface. Anchored by the north and south magnetic poles (which tend to shift around and even reverse every million years or so), the field waxes and wanes in strength, undulating based on what's going on in the core. Periodic and sometimes random changes in the distribution of that turbulent liquid metal can cause idiosyncrasies in the magnetic field. If you imagine the magnetic field as a series of rubber bands that thread through the magnetic poles and the Earth's core, then changes in the core essentially tug on different rubber bands in various places. Those geomagnetic tugs influence the north magnetic pole's migration and can even cause it to veer wildly from its position. So far, predicting these magnetic-field shifts has been a challenge. But in the new study, the geophysicists Julien Aubert and Christopher Finlay attempted to simulate the physical conditions of Earth's core by having supercomputers crunch 4 million hours' worth of calculations. The researchers knew that the movement of heat from the planet's interior outward could influence the magnetic field. In general, this happens at 6 miles per year. But they found that sometimes there are pockets of liquid iron in the core that happen to be much warmer and lighter than the surrounding fluid. If the difference between these hot, less dense bits of fluid and their colder, denser counterparts is great enough, the warm liquid can rise very quickly. That rapid motion then triggers magnetic waves that careen toward the core's surface, causing geomagnetic jerks.

"Think about these waves like vibrating strings of a musical instrument," Aubert told Business Insider.

Could the magnetic field ever collapse?

Earth's magnetic field shields its atmosphere, which does "a bulk of the work" of keeping out solar radiation, as Revenaugh put it. If we lost our magnetic field, we'd eventually lose our atmosphere. But according to Revenaugh, that's extremely unlikely to happen, since the Earth's core would never stop rotating. Even if the field did collapse, the devastating effects depicted in "The Core" — people with pacemakers dropping dead, out-of-control lightning storms, eviscerated national landmarks — wouldn't follow. A far more likely scenario, Revenaugh suggested, would involve the magnetic poles reversing as they did 780,000 years ago. When such reversals happen ( there have been several in Earth's history), the magnetic field drops to about 30% of its full strength, he said. Though that's a far-away scenario, Revenaugh added that it's still important to improve scientists' understanding of the magnetic field today.

"The better we can model it, the better we can understand what's it's up to," he said.

 
HEADLINES
IN THE NEWS

Beneath Antarctica’s Ice Is a Graveyard of Dead Continents
Data from a European satellite has revealed the tectonic underworld below the frozen southernmost co...
— S. Rogan (strangeradiocentral.com)

Man who set up camera to catch a ghost instead catches girlfriend's affair with his 16-year-old son
The father had set up a camera to capture ghosts he believed were haunting his house....
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

The FBI looked into Bigfoot legend, and you can read the documents
Get ready to join the bureau's X-Files division...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

What Is a Satoshi?
It is the Smallest Unit on the Bitcoin Blockchain. But there is more to know....
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets A Real Test
Scientists have debated for decades whether the propulsion concept known as EmDrive is real or wishf...
— S. Rogan (strangeradiocentral.com)

U.S. and Australian navy pilots struck by lasers in South China Sea
China denied that its forces targeted military aircraft...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

MORE NEWS

Mongols motorcycle gang fined $500K — but get to keep logo
Genghis Khan might ride again...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

Australian finds a $69,000 (USD) gold nugget using metal detector
The 1.4kg nugget is estimated to be worth about $69,000 (USD)...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Nutritionist says pizza is better for breakfast than most cereals
What's better to eat for breakfast: pizza or cereal?...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

Truth about the mysterious black cube UFOs seen draining energy from Sun
As far as UFO claims go, this one has been one of the most bizarre...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Has anyone tried the Impossible Burger? Is it SAFE?
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

She's Back: Could America's First Stealth Plane Still Fight?
Or should the F-117 stay retired?...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Enormous 2000kg Great White shark chokes to death on sea turtle
A Great White shark has choked to death on a sea turtle, a fisherman dramatically revealed on Facebo...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

UFO sighting: Does Google Mars photo show crashed alien UFO on the Red Planet?
A UFO has been spotted on the surface of Mars, an alien conspiracy theorist has claimed....
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Earth's magnetic north pole is moving too fast for experts to keep up.
Now scientists might know why....
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

Time traveller from 2075 warns of GREAT FLOOD crippling Los Angeles
A SELF-TITLED time traveller from the year 2075 has bizarrely claimed a great flood will wipe out Lo...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Trump Is Literally Killing Us
A guest on Fox News representing farmers said that Trump’s trade war is driving some to suicide....
— S.E. Rogue (strangeradiocentral.com)

ALIENS? Stargazers in northern Norway enjoyed an unexpected light show.
NASA says mysterious dancing blue lights spotted over the Arctic Circle were caused by vapor tests a...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
SPREAKER |  TWITTER |  FACEBOOK |  SOUNDCLOUD |  YOUTUBE

STRANGERADIOCENTRAL.com
"Quality Internet Radio and Podcast Production."
© Copyright - AO2 IT CORP. - 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy

 
StrangeRadioCentral.com