Earth’s magnetic north pole is continuing to shift toward Siberia, a situation of concern to those who link a “Pole Shift” with End Times. In its most dramatic form, a shift would result in reversal of the north and south magnetic poles ~ something that happens about every 250,000 years ~ with resulting cataclysmic havoc.
The situation was highlighted this week when two large airports in Florida renumbered runways to reflect new compass readings to match the new pole location.
Earth’s magnetic poles are governed by forces deep inside the planet. According to space.com:
An inner core of solid iron is surrounded by an outer core of molten iron. They rotate at different rates, and the interaction between the regions creates what scientists call a "hydromagnetic dynamo." It's something like an electric motor, and it generates a magnetic field akin to a giant bar magnet. The process is not completely understood.
In the past 15 million years, there have been four reversals every 1 million years, or about one shift each 250,000 years, says Brad Clement of Florida International University, who has lead a recent study on pole reversals. The last one, however, was 790,000 years ago. That might suggest we're overdue for a big change.
Not necessarily so, Clement says. The flips are not periodic, meaning they don't adhere to a schedule of even intervals. Yet the intensity of the magnetic field has been dropping for the last 2,000 years, and "it has dropped significantly" during the past two decades, Clement said.
Some scientists speculate a reversal is underway. Clement said that's like forecasting that the bottom will drop out of the stock market because it's gone down the past few days. "We just don't know," he said.
Click here for LiveScience article on recent developments.
Click here for Space.com background article quoted above.
Click here for 2012 Pole Shift predictions.