European Space Agency: Magnetic north wandering south toward Siberia
The data showed that Earth’s north magnetic pole — different from the geographic North Pole, which marks Earth’s rotational axis — is moving south. Since magnetic north was first located in 1831, it has wandered more than 600 miles.
In recent years, its movement has accelerated, from an average of six miles a year to 25 miles, and scientists predict it could travel from its current position in North America to Asia within a few decades.
Magnetic pole reversals occur on average every 200,000 to 300,000 years, and the magnetic field weakening observed by Swarm could indicate an upcoming pole shift. The last reversal was about 780,000 years ago.
Such shifts usually take thousands of years, but some scientists believe they have found evidence that they happen much more rapidly. In cases of rapid shifts, the reversed polarity was short and temporary.