The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center maintains a data set of annual magnetic north pole coordinates going back to the year 1590. The coordinates have been derived from early measurements of ships logs, to modern day techniques.
Noting that there has been lots of reporting of pole shift lately, to the point where the phenomenon is actually causing real-world issues such as temporary airport closures, a deeper investigation was in order.
After transferring 420 years of north pole position data from the NOAA Geo Data Center, configuring it to fit in an Excel spreadsheet, adding a complicated formula to determine exact distance between 2 sets of latitude-longitude coordinates, applying the formula to each data point in the series, and then finally plotting it all in a visual graph, it is alarming to discover the amount of magnetic pole shift – just over the past 10 to 20 years.
>> Books and Reference on the subject
Here is one very interesting fact…
Since 1860, the magnetic pole shift has more than doubled every 50 years. That is pretty significant. In geological terms, that seems to be pretty ‘rapid’.
Here is another very interesting fact…
During the past 150 years, the pole shift has been in the same direction.
The following fact is even more astonishing…
During the past 10 years, the magnetic north pole has shifted nearly half of the total distance of the past 50 years! In other words, the pole shift has apparently sped up substantially.
Pole Shift has more than doubled each of the last 50 years
The present rate of magnetic north pole shift is about 55 kilometers per year. According to the data set, during the year 2000 the magnetic north pole actually shifted more than 70 kilometers.
The issue now is, since the pole shift has been at 400 year record high rates during the past 10 to 20 years, the cumulative effect is now beginning to cause real-world issues.
Will the effects affect us noticeably or in a bad way? Time will tell I suppose, but at the current rate there will no doubt be direct effects on many systems in the years ahead, many of them nuisance issues such as documentation changes while others will likely be more serious.
It is not known if the shift will speed up or slow down in the years ahead. Some say that a pole reversal is overdue, and this phenomenon may be indicators of the beginnings of that process.
Note that the earth’s magnetic field is what protects us from radiation. Without it, we would not survive. Could a pole reversal cause a period of time in-between flip-flop such that we would be exposed to deadly radiation? Stay tuned…
Graph of annual magnetic north pole shift during the past 420 years
At the current direction, the magnetic north pole is heading directly towards Russia. The following image shows the dramatic acceleration while pointing out the past 50 years versus the past 10 years of movement.
Update: March, 2012 – NOAA has just changed (massaged?) their data of the past decade.
[ Read: Pole Shift Data Coverup – 2012 ]