Before 1990, the magnetic north pole was wandering slowly around Canada, shifting at a leisurely 5 kilometres per year. In the early 1990s, it suddenly began to accelerate, and now it’s rocketing towards Siberia at 50 kilometres per year.
That’s fast enough that the map of the Earth’s magnetic field, produced by the British Geological Survey and NOAA, had to be updated a year early.
In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, geophysicist Dr Ciaran Beggan talks to Sara Rigby about why the Earth’s magnetic field is changing, what it means for us, and what we can expect in the future.
Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast:
- How geology can influence elections – Lewis Dartnell
- The mindset behind the Moon landing – Richard Wiseman
- Air pollution is killing us, here’s how you can stop it – Gary Fuller
- What NASA’s InSight will tell us about Mars – Bruce Banerdt
- Wildfires: past, present and future – Prof Andrew Scott
- Are we facing an insect apocalypse? – Brad Lister
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