It is not news that the magnetic north pole is moving. This has always been the case. However, there has been a clear acceleration in the last 20 years. Around the start of the millennium, this shift was only around 15 kilometers per year. Now it is 55 kilometers annually.
This means that the northern magnetic pole is shifting faster from Canada toward Siberia. The reason it is important to keep a close eye on this is due to the fact that humans use this magnetic field in shipping and air traffic, to determine the direction in which they sail or fly.
Due to the change, the maps of the magnetic field must be renewed earlier than usual. If the magnetic field starts to deviate too much, the orientation will no longer be correct, and in the long term, navigation will be incorrect (on the road, on the water, or in the air).
The magnetic field, thanks to the structure of the Earth’s core, consists of iron and nickel. The inner core is solid, the outer core liquid. Due to the rotation of the earth, the outer core flows around the inner core, creating a dynamo effect. This ultimately influences the magnetic field.
Scientists are trying to understand why the Earth’s magnetic field is changing so dramatically, but they cannot give a 100% definitive answer. Some suspect that it is a precursor that the magnetic poles of the earth will “reverse” soon. On average, this happens once every 300,000 years. The last time was 780,000 years ago, so it could be time.
It’s certainly possible that the poles will reverse in the future if the magnetic field continues to weaken at this rate. However, the current change is still too limited to assume that this will happen any time soon …