With news that after 400 years of stability, the Earth’s magnetic North Pole could soon reach Siberia. If that happens, you can kiss Alaska Borealis goodbye as the Northern Lights go with the flow.
The pole has moved hundreds of kilometres in the last couple of centuries and could reach Siberia within another fifty years according to Oregon State University paleomagnetist Joseph Stoner speaking at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, California, this week. The remarkably rapid (for geological change) movement of the magnetic pole doesn’t necessarily mean that our planet is going through a large-scale change that would result in the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field as some people fear. Instead, this may be part of a normal oscillation, says Stoner, and could swing back towards Canada again.
Whichever way it goes, check out the sciencebase magnetic science lesson plan courtesy of Oregon’s Columbia Education Center.