Earth’s magnetic field undergoing unexpected changes

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The uncertainty of science: For reasons that scientists do not understand, the Earth’s magnetic field has been undergoing unexpected shifts in the past two years, causing its north pole to move significantly and somewhat quickly from Canada across to Siberia.

Earth’s north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron sloshing within the planet’s core. The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move.

On 15 January, they are set to update the World Magnetic Model, which describes the planet’s magnetic field and underlies all modern navigation, from the systems that steer ships at sea to Google Maps on smartphones.

The most recent version of the model came out in 2015 and was supposed to last until 2020 — but the magnetic field is changing so rapidly that researchers have to fix the model now. “The error is increasing all the time,” says Arnaud Chulliat, a geomagnetist at the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Centers for Environmental Information.

Note that they have delayed the release of the World Magnetic Model until January 30, claiming the delay is caused by the government shutdown. Seems bogus to me. As I have already noted, these scientists aren’t slaves. If they think this is so important, and they have completed their work (which the article suggests they have), they can release the model, regardless of the federal government’s funding.

Hat tip reader Stephen Taylor.


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  • Ben K

    I wonder if the scientists may be awaiting federal funding for the study that ties the shift to human activity. Too cynical?

  • wodun

    It looks like a lot of these government agencies go rogue to make things worse than they really are because they dislike the current President, just like they made things worse than they actually were the last time because they liked the previous President.

  • Eric Elsam

    Deep State at work. NeverTrump.

  • MDN

    I think the Government should offer furloughed employees two options during the shutdown:

    1. Continue working without pay, and they’ll get comped for their hours when the shutdown ends. In this scenario the scientists could release their models with no delay.

    2. Enjoy the time off, but they won’t get paid.

    I know this is stern and doesn’t help employees who are financially strapped and will suffer from even just a temporary loss of paychecks, but in every shutdown to date the employees have gotten the time off and then gotten paid anyway. So the furlough ended up becoming a bonus vacation, just with deferred pay, and that is not right.

    WRT the helping the paycheck to paycheck crowd, I think Trump and his admin missed a marketing opportunity here. I would have engaged with the banking community ASAP to get someone to offer very low cost bridge loans since the back pay is government guaranteed. I presume they could have gotten agreement from at least 1 bank to do this at just a 3-5% rate or so. Not perfect, but it would have demonstrated an empathy for the working folk (a strength for Trump imho) that is missing in this particular case. It would have demonstrated the dynamic virtues of capitalism too, to rapidly accomplish things that Government can’t.

  • commodude

    The World Magnetic Model is showing the pole is shifting towards Moscow, not Siberia. This is due to the continued collusion between the current POTUS and the former KGB chief currently in power in Moscow.

    This cannot be allowed to stand, as the continued collusion is literally shifting the lines of power towards Moscow. Once the ley lines are out of balance, who knows what utter chaos will be unleashed on the world?

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