The magnetic poles of the Earth, generated by the magnetic field of our planet, are not fixed in one position, but move. Just think, in fact, that since it was documented for the first time in 1830, the North Magnetic Pole has traveled approximately 2,250 kilometres and over the years it has increased its speed from 15 to about 50/60 km per year.
Insiders have come to this conclusion thanks to data collected by the Swarm satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA), which precisely measure the magnetic signals that come from the core, mantle, crust and oceans of our planet.
The reason for this move could be to be found from movement of two magnetic “blocks” of molten material inside the planet. “What we found is that the position of the North Magnetic Pole is controlled by two spots – one under Canada and one under Siberia – and they act as a kind of tug of war by controlling the position of the pole.‘explains Dr Phil Livermore, lead author of the study from the University of Leeds in the UK.
In recent times, however, the magnetic “tug-of-war” seems to have been won by the Siberian side – after years of domination by Canada – and the north magnetic field is shifting slightly towards this position. “This explains why the pole suddenly accelerated away from its historical position” finally says Livermore.
If the magnetic field were to disappear, the consequences would be catastrophic.