In recent years, the magnetic North Pole has moved from Canada to Siberia. A team of British researchers believes they have unraveled the mystery of this unusual gap. Since its discovery, the North Magnetic Pole has been moving to Siberia, but the speed at which it occurs has recently increased sharply.
Now moving faster
First, the magnetic North Pole should not be confused with the geographic North Pole. Indeed, it is a single wandering point on the surface where the Earth’s magnetic field points down. Let us recall in passing that the magnetic North Pole was discovered by James Clark Ross in 1831 on the west coast of the Boothia peninsula (Canada).
Since its discovery, the magnetic North Pole has followed a north-northwest line, namely in the direction of Siberia. It is for this reason that the World Magnetic Model (WMM) is updated every five years. Used for maritime and air navigation, this model has experienced greater shifts in recent years. Indeed, since the 1990s the movement has accelerated sharply, going from around 15 km / year to 55 km / year today.
A “tug of war” determining its position
In an article published on May 7, 2020, the daily The Independent reported the research of a team from the University of Leeds (United Kingdom). Scientists led by Dr. Phil Livermore are almost able to explain clearly why the magnetic North Pole is moving faster. Recall that the Earth’s magnetic field is mainly related to the movement of liquid iron making up the majority of the Earth’s core located 3,000 km below the surface.
Researchers say they have made an important discovery. According to them, the position of magnetic north is controlled by two parts of the magnetic field. One is under Canada and the other is under Siberia. The fact is that the two sides interact in a “tug-of-war” manner, causing the magnetic North Pole to move.
British scientists recall that before, the Canadian side prevailed over the Siberian side. However, the former has largely weakened, hence the displacement to Siberia. At the moment, the magnetic North Pole is in the Arctic Ocean. However, the new established model based on its displacement over the past 20 years shows that it will continue its journey to Russia. In other words, it is completely impossible to predict whether the magnetic North Pole will return to Canada one day.