Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Now I'm Stressing - NASA Says The Poles Are Swapping Places

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Now I'm Stressing - NASA Says The Poles Are Swapping Places

    The magnetic north pole is currently shifting at the fastest rate in human history.

    Scientists say it might be a sign that Earth’s poles are about to swap places.

    “Throughout most of recorded history, the pole has been positioned at or around Canada’s icy Ellesmere Island, but if it keeps moving at its current rate, it won’t be long before it sits above Russia instead,” MNN reports.

    Unlike true north — which is marked by the Earth’s axis — magnetic north is constantly on the move due to changes in the planet’s molten iron core.

    But in 1989, it sped up to an accelerated rate of almost 40 miles per year.

    “It didn’t move much between 1900 and 1980 but it’s really accelerated in the past 40 years,” Ciaran Beggan, of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, told Reuters.

    The shift is causing major problems for aviation, navigation and migratory animals that use the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves.

    A five-year update of the World Magnetic Model was due in 2020, but the U.S. military requested an unprecedented early review.

    In the last decade alone, the drift has increased by 33%, throwing off compasses by roughly 1 degree every five years.

    The rapid changes are already causing major headaches for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Some airports are even starting to change the names of their runways, which correspond to degrees on on a compass.

    The shifting pole may also become a grave concern for migratory wildlife, such as birds, turtles and other sea creatures. It’s unclear if these animals are capable of recalibrating their navigational instincts.

    The moving pole isn’t supposed to affect smartphones or GPS devices anytime soon.

    “It doesn’t really affect mid or low latitudes,” Beggan said.

    But some experts believe we’re witnessing the beginning of a complete pole reversal, which we are overdue for.

    Typically, Earth’s magnetic poles “flip” — whereby all compasses invert and point south instead of north — every 300,000 years or so. But it’s been 780,000 years since the last flip.

    Scientists disagree on how a pole reversal would effect ecosystems around the world. Some predict catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis will wreak havoc for decades.


    #2
    I'm 61, and I have been hearing "the sky is falling" all my life. I quit listening years ago. The list of possible catastrophes is extensive and many are real dangers. Just think, if the giant asteroid landed on the giant Yellowstone volcano that would be twice as bad. EMP attacks wiping out the grid. The mysterious Planet X. We probably are due for a world changing event. Think of it as an adventure.
    Someone told me years ago that 90% of what we worry about never happens, and the other 10% we just deal with. If it can't be dealt with we will all be in the same boat anyway.

    Comment


      #3
      I hope it's the precursor for the Zombie apocalypse! Then I'll be able to load up my big freighter canoe and live in a secluded spot on the Ogoki river, and my wife will probably actually join me.

      Comment


        #4
        OMG, the U.S. and Canada will henceforth be known as South America.

        Comment


          #5
          My only fear is that I would enter the BWCA following my compass, only to keep ending up back at the parking lot.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by memaquay View Post
            I hope it's the precursor for the Zombie apocalypse! Then I'll be able to load up my big freighter canoe and live in a secluded spot on the Ogoki river, and my wife will probably actually join me.
            My Zombie gun has been sitting around gathering dust for quite awhile. Might be time for a good cleaning.

            Comment


              #7
              My late mother-in-law was living with us in the 90's. She first became curious about the whole Y2K thing, then after more media "coverage" she grew concerned, and finally began to really worry. I knew very little about it myself, but I doubted banking, utilities and governments could all fail on account of a millenium bug, but what did I know? Being a sceptic I sniggered at the media frenzy whipping up social concern and panic, until it reached our household. My poor dear mil became close to hysterical in the final days of 1999. Instead of planning to party like it's, you know, I was calming her nerves by stocking up the pantry with canned goods, filling the BBQ propane tanks (2) and even storing extra potable water in 5 gal pails. Several of them. I kid you not. Whatever it took to assuage her fears. She was my wife's mom afterall. I topped all the cars up, changed the oil, checked the fluids; got in a supply of road salt for the front porch and driveway, stocked up on flashlights and batteries, and split half a cord of wood for the fireplace. All for her. I did make a batch of beer (porter) for myself just to be on the safe side. One batch equalled 6 cases of 24. That was a lot of Y2K beer. Anyway, I thought I had everything and everyone settled, until with a few hours to go to midnight my dear old mil started panicking again. We don't have enough water. What? I have about 100L of tap water stored that'll last us, and that's not counting apple juice, orange juice. (Best not tell her about the porter.) No, we still don't have enough. We need to fill the bathtubs Brad. What for? For what purpose? But what if you want to have a bath? No. Please fill the tubs, I'll feel safer. Okay, whatever, filling tubs now. And at 5 minutes to midnight while my wife was wearing a paper party hat and standing on the porch with the kids counting down to midnight Brad was filling the feckin bath tubs. And at 5 minutes after midnight Brad was emptying the feckin bathtubs. My mil?
              She couldn't stand all the excitement. She had gone to bed.
              The next morning everything was back to normal. She acted like nothing had happened. She didn't know what all the fuss was about.
              One good thing though, that porter turned out great.
              Last edited by Odyssey; 01-30-2019, 08:18 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Oh, Sh-- that would make us the West Coast. It was bad enough moving South of the New England Mason/Dixon Line, West Coast, that will take some getting used to.

                Then there's that whole thing about the sun rising in the East and setting in...

                The USA can't handle the metric system, swapping N/S, E/W... come to think about it for most Americans it wouldn't make a difference.

                We'll have to switch all the highway signs, or not.
                Last edited by sweeper; 01-30-2019, 09:48 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  And you would become our northern neighbours. Coming south to Canada would take a lot of getting used to.
                  Here in Canada we say we're "going down south", and we're "going up north." Would down become up, and vice versa?
                  And we also have "down east" and "out west". "Going down west" is just weird. I can't do that.
                  Last edited by Odyssey; 01-30-2019, 11:35 PM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well, this will certainly make some work for the cartographers. Is ther enough declination adjustment in a compass to cover the current shift? I had oddly enough noticed that north was not looking very northish the last few times I used my compass.

                    Look at that...I'm not crazy after all. A little disappointing actually.

                    As bizarre as the y2k panic was, we were not totally immersed in the computer culture at that point yet. Imagine all the cell phone addicts if they thought the web would disappear overnight? Now THAT would be a panic.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have always preferred to travel with compass and topo map. Before each canoe trip I set my declination to what was indicated on the topo map, adjusted for how much the map said the declination was changing per year. More recently I also googled the current declination for a given location on my trip. This declination was significantly different than that predicted on the topo map. I didn't know why, and could not find the answer, even by friends who were avid orienteering competitors. Thanks to NASA and this thread, I now know why!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        it has been well known for many years in the geographically aware community that the magnetic pole tends to randomly wander around a bit, but not to systematically travel in any particular single direction for a prolonged time (unlike what the recent data seems to show). Being random, it generally had little permanent or significant effect on declination at any particular location. The declination diagram printed on older USGS topographic maps could be trusted to within a degree or so. You could look up the declination and its drift rate for any location you like on government and other sources to confirm. For the Adirondack region I have noticed a slight though steady tendency of declination to advance toward the west in recent years.
                        Last edited by yknpdlr; 01-31-2019, 11:48 AM.
                        "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by yknpdlr View Post
                          it has been well known for many years in the geographically aware community that the magnetic pole tends to randomly wander around a bit, but not to systematically travel in any particular single direction for a prolonged time (unlike what the recent data seems to show). Being random, it generally had little permanent or significant effect on declination at any particular location. The declination diagram printed on older USGS topographic maps could be trusted to within a degree or so. You could look up the declination and its drift rate for any location you like on government and other sources to confirm. For the Adirondack region I have noticed a slight though steady tendency of declination to advance toward the west in recent years.


                          This is an image of one of my Canadian topo maps. Note in the second sentence on the right ANNUAL CHANGE (in declination is) DECREASING 22.3'

                          I have always assumed this to indicate that the change in declination is directional, rather than random. But perhaps my interpretation is incorrect? This topo map was produced in 1986. Could it be that "our" understanding of declination change was different way back then?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I don't see a year indicated on that map and it does not indicate over what period the decreasing rate was measured, one year, 6 months, or a decade? All I know is that until very recently, I had always been told that the wander in the past was quite random. Certainly the most recently measured data is directional. That change is 22.3' (minutes of arc), not degrees.

                            That map you show is located in the far north of NW Territories, not far from the magnetic pole, where any slight change of pole location would result in relatively large changes in declination.
                            Last edited by yknpdlr; 04-10-2019, 03:06 PM.
                            "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Been looking on the Internet a little bit about declination, also sometimes called variation. It seems that measurements go back a long time. One example, quoted below, from Wikipedia:

                              "As an example of how variation changes over time, see the two charts of the same area (western end of Long Island Sound), below, surveyed 124 years apart. The 1884 chart shows a variation of 8 degrees, 20 minutes West. The 2008 chart shows 13 degrees, 15 minutes West."

                              Another site shows maps of changing declination going back to 1590! So the Canadian topo map assessment of annual changes are almost certainly based on more than just a few years.

                              Interesting stuff! I had no idea.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X