Mobile Magnetic North – Should We Be Concerned, and What Can We Do?

By Author: Ila Bonczek
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Magnetic north has been migrating for millions of years. Recent acceleration of its movement has sparked interest in many areas. (Image: Calsidyrose via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

The earth’s magnetosphere is a continuously fluctuating magnetic field that extends an average of 40,000 miles above the earth’s surface. This field is generated by activity 1,800 miles below the earth’s surface – the movement of molten iron-nickel within the earth’s outer core. 

The magnetic poles are the points where the magnetic field converges and points toward the earth. The Chinese discovered magnets’ tendency to position themselves in a north-south direction 2,000 years ago, prompting the use of the magnetic compass. 

Given that the core’s mass of molten metal is in constant motion, and that the magnetosphere itself is always changing, it is not surprising that magnetic north should move as well. Ever since James Clark Ross pinpointed the magnetic north pole in 1831, scientists have been observing its migration from Northern Canada toward Russia. 

Rate of movement quadrupled

Recently, there has been some concern about the increasing speed at which the magnetic north pole is moving. According to an article in Popular Mechanics, the rate of movement has more than quadrupled, from at most nine miles per year in 1999 to 37 miles per year in 2005. Is this a new phenomenon? Hardly.

Through a radiometric dating technique, shifts in the earth’s poles from the distant past can also be studied. When rock cooled during the shifting of the tectonic plates, or continental drift, the magnetism of the time was “frozen” into it. By examining these samples of history, it can be seen that the poles have been shifting at varying rates for millions of years, with north and south even reversing at times.

Researchers from the UK and Denmark suggest that this recent acceleration is due to a split in the molten mass of metal that generates our magnetosphere. Two separate masses now appear to be competing for magnetic rule.

The Earth’s magnetic field as captured by photography. (Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center viaFlickr CC BY 2.0)

Ranging in magnitude from 25 to 65 μT (0.25 to 0.65 gauss), the Earth’s magnetic field not only  provides a basis for orientation, it also forms a protective shield around the earth, protecting all life from the sun’s harmful rays. Drastic shifts can reduce its protective power. 

The most recent polar reversal 780,000 years ago led to the extinction of many marine species. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), however, such polar shifts “can take a long time to occur and pose no immediate threat.” That’s all well and good NCEI, but what about our global navigation systems? Everything that relies on compass data will be impacted by an ever-changing north pole.

The magnetosphere may impact human thinking

In the article How Magnetism Affects How We Think and Feel by Ed Decker, the author discusses the spiritual side of magnets. As a well established key force in the universe, scientists have begun studying the effects of magnetism on human mental disorders, thinking, and behavior. While MRIs use magnetic fields for diagnostic purposes, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be used therapeutically. By targeting the portion of the brain related to mood regulation, it has proven effective in treating depression. 

This, then, raises the question of what effect the Earth’s electromagnetic field has on our thinking and emotions. Do shifts in the magnetosphere bring about global shifts in human thinking? And if this is the case, could the reverse be true as well?

An aura is a powerful magnetic field surrounding the human body. If we align our thoughts with good things, our collective magnetic fields may influence the earth in a positive way. (Image: Mikhail Nilov via Pexels)

In researching such possibilities, the Institute of HeartMath (IHM) has discovered that the human heart “generates the most powerful electromagnetic field in the body.” IHM Director of research Rollin McCraty, Ph. D. wrote in his clinical paper entitled The Energetic Heart, “The electrical field as measured in an electrocardiogram (ECG) is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an electroencephalogram (EEG).”

Can we use our own powerful magnetic fields to support our Earth’s magnetic field? The IHM launched their Global Coherence Initiative (GCI) in 2008 to determine just that. Advanced sensing technology is being used to detect whether the GCI’s international community of nearly 60,000 members radiating positive emotions en masse has an effect on the earth’s magnetic field. 

If this is established to be effective, it would seem that we all have a responsibility to keep our thoughts in the realm of hope, benevolence, and righteousness.