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North Magnetic Pole Racing Toward Siberia

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the slowly-swinging-needles dept.

Science 187

RogerRoast sends along a backgrounder from Scientific American on the best current theory as to why the north magnetic pole drifts. "The NMP, also known as the dip pole, is the point on Earth where the planet's magnetic field points straight down into the ground. Scottish explorer James Clark Ross first located the NMP in 1831 on the Boothia Peninsula in what is now northern Canada... [T]he NMP drifts from year to year as geophysical processes within Earth change. For more than 150 years after Ross's measurement its movement was gradual, generally less than 15 kilometers per year. But then, in the 1990s, it picked up speed, ... bolting north–northwest into the Arctic Ocean at more than 55 kilometers per year. If it keeps going it could pass the geographic north pole in a decade or so and carry on toward Siberia."

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Eeep! (5, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677180)

Will Putin's ambitions stop at nothing?

(Besides, a fast-moving magnetic pole screws up the UK's Ordinance Survey maps, which are magnetic north aligned.)

Re:Eeep! (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677290)

If that's the case, the moving magnetic pole will eventually improve the Survey Maps by forcing the Brits to get away from using mag north for their survey maps.

Re:Eeep! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677462)

Ordnance Survey Maps don't use Magnetic North, but they do give you an offset with expected annual deviation

And they are probably one of the best maps available

Re:Eeep! (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677908)

Ordnance Survey Maps don't use Magnetic North, but they do give you an offset with expected annual deviation

And they are probably one of the best maps available

No, but compasses do, which means the maps themselves grow out-of-date faster and faster. You will need to update your magnetic deviation value more often.

Re:Eeep! (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678150)

Canada's military will quickly put a stop to this naked greed.

Our extensive submarine and naval fleet, combined with our land forces will make short work of restoring the position of our pole.

We will keep a firm grip on our pole and never let it go!

Re:Eeep! (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677336)

a fast-moving magnetic pole screws up the UK's Ordinance Survey maps, which are magnetic north aligned.)

This sounds really dumb, The British pretty much wrote the book on geodesy.

Re:Eeep! (5, Informative)

jc79 (1683494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677418)

Parent is wrong. Ordnance Survey maps are NOT magnetic north aligned. They are aligned to OS Grid North, which is fixed wrt the UK (but not congruent with True North). Each printed map sheet has a diagram indicating the deviation from grid north of magnetic north at the centre of the sheet at a given epoch. When taking a bearing with a protractor compass, it is necessary to account for the magnetic deviation before following that bearing (in Scotland, magnetic north is currently 2 deg west of grid north).

Re:Eeep! (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677910)

Parent is wrong. Ordnance Survey maps are NOT magnetic north aligned. They are aligned to OS Grid North, which is fixed wrt the UK (but not congruent with True North). Each printed map sheet has a diagram indicating the deviation from grid north of magnetic north at the centre of the sheet at a given epoch. When taking a bearing with a protractor compass, it is necessary to account for the magnetic deviation before following that bearing (in Scotland, magnetic north is currently 2 deg west of grid north).

But that magnetic deviation (example: add 8.5 degrees when converting from grid north to magnetic north) will need to be update more often than it used to be, as that value changes.

Re:Eeep! (1)

angiasaa (758006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677498)

The funny thing is.... No one knows if this speed-up is a natural cycle, or if there's really something out of whack with the core.

Either way, who cares? I'm still waiting for the space-travel thingy those ministers of finance refused to fund?

Re:Eeep! (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677558)

Personally I just want my castle down here on earth. Just need someone to build it with. What is the cost and how much can you do alone? Are there any nice cliffs somewhere where I could build it? =P

Yeah. off-topic for sure. But if we're to be dreaming why not :)

Much more likely than large scale space travel. Where should we go in the first place? =P

Re:Eeep! (0)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677574)

Be the first on your block to blame Climate Change.

Re:Eeep! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677858)

Its Bush's fault.

Re:Eeep! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677644)

I knew that fucker was scouting Santa behind our backs.

Too many cliches! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677190)

First Pole!

In siberian Russia, north becomes you!

Re:Too many cliches! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677232)

Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?

Re:Too many cliches! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677506)

with fuckin's miracles.

Our molten core is shifting (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677198)

The probable cause of this is a sudden shift in the tilt of our molten core. This would realign our magnetic poles.

But it may also be indicative of a bigger problem. There was a film a few years back which explored the possibility of a sudden loss of angular momentum within the Earth's core. Without the spinning core, the magnetic field would be lost and our planet would lose the protection afforded to us by the magnetosphere. Essentially, we would become windswept by the solar wind and would end up without an atmosphere, much like Mars.

The solution, the scientists in the film agreed, was to prepare several nuclear bombs which could be transported to the edge of the core (below the mantle) and detonated, thus restarting the spinning core. It seemed like a crazy theory, but with this sudden acceleration of the NMP, I think it might be wise to keep an eye on all of our options.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677230)

I bet the core is shifting because of the popularity of neodymium magnets.
Damn kids buying them on the internet and shifting the balance.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

captaindynamo (1097461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677768)

Nah, its global warming. Its right there in the summary tag.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677238)

Essentially, we would become windswept by the solar wind and would end up without an atmosphere, much like Mars.

I don't get it, could you rephrase that as a worse analogy?

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677312)

It will be like when you forget to wax your nice sportscar, and the elements strip off the nice red shine.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677560)

It's about 3 football fields of uninhabitability

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677260)

I had to look at your handle before I got that you were joking. :)

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677272)

Luckily the core is pretty absurdly massive. It's not going to suddenly lose all of it's kinetic energy without dumping it somewhere, a process which undoubtedly would be pretty impressive and noticeable.

Also, that movie was terrible. ;) (and not just for it's absurd physics, because Sunshine (with an even more absurd premise) was actually pretty good)

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677736)

Luckily the core is pretty absurdly massive. It's not going to suddenly lose all of it's kinetic energy without dumping it somewhere, a process which undoubtedly would be pretty impressive and noticeable.

I prefer to think of it with commas, as "pretty, impressive, and noticeable". :)

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677284)

The solution, the scientists in the film agreed, was to prepare several nuclear bombs which could be transported to the edge of the core (below the mantle) and detonated, thus restarting the spinning core.

Nuclear bombs, detonated in the Earth's core. Seems rather Wile E. Coyote-ish. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677286)

The solution, the scientists in the film agreed, was to prepare several nuclear bombs which could be transported to the edge of the core (below the mantle) and detonated, thus restarting the spinning core.

Sounds fantastic... anybody have back-of-the-napkin numbers as to how much energy it might take to restart the core spinning? I'm surprised that only a few nukes would do it.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677748)

That's because they wouldn't. He's quoting Bad Movie Science (which can be read with equal validity as "(Bad Movie) Science" or "Bad (Movie Science)").

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677300)

That movie was a crap movie. Core wasnt it?

Re:Our molten core is shifting (2, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677348)

The biggest problem is if the molten core shifts around, then the localized heat sources change, which changes the temperature of the ground surface, the oceans, and the atmosphere given enough time. This would eventually lead to civilization-annoying weather pattern changes, causing regular cycling climates (hot summer, cold snowy winter) to become either more extreme (hotter summer, colder winter) or tilted (hotter summer, winters that are cold and rainy). This of course distorts any functioning agrarian society while the whole disaster continues; things have to be moved around after the weather settles down again.

And for the record, the earth's magnetic core is a molten iron blob subject to magnetic fields. The sun is a huge nuclear generator radiating a huge magnetic field. What happens when you rotate one around the other? Hint: nuclear bombs won't produce the kind of momentum that keeps that much metal spinning for millions of years... that would blow the whole planet to dust.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (3, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677416)

Climate shifts are due to the shifting magnetic properties of the earth's core?

~*SWEEEET!*~

Thanks for giving me my latest skeptical counter-theory to anthropogenic global warming!

Re:Our molten core is shifting (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677510)

The sun expanding would make the earth hotter too. actually, the anthropogenic global warming crowd occasionally brings up that livestock farming is hands-down the biggest cause of global warming [peta.org] . Because of the emissions from the animals [peta.org] , mind you.

I remember when they told us it was driving cars...

Re:Our molten core is shifting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677596)

Please, please don't pretend PETA are representative of scientists in this debate.

It's embarrassing to both sides of the debate to see PETA even mentioned in the same sentence as a scientific theory.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677646)

I think you need to go back and study a little more science.

First rule of science: go where the data leads you. When we learn more about the way our universe works, we update our thoughts about the way the universe works.

Second Rule of science: Investigate the sources of reports. If the main source is not a scientist in the field of study, and/or it was paid for by a notoriously insane group that is not respected by the scientific community at large, do not trust. PETA is one such group. They just want people to not kill animals. They don't really care why you don't kill animals, they just want you to not kill animals. So, they try to provide as many reasons why you shouldn't as possible. If you presented them with a "study" that showed them that raising animals to be killed caused the earthquake in Haiti, they would probably post it on their website.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677902)

They cite a report the UN accepted as fact as their factual basis. Or they're flat out lying. I trust PETA to be completely insane and retarded; that said, I also trust them to be selective with evidence, which means their evidence chain might blatantly ignore facts that are inconvenient but will at least point at something wholly true.

Partial truths, not partial perspective (i.e. an "interpretation" of a "fact"). Somebody out there, for some period of time, convinced the UN that goat farts are the leading cause of global warming.

The point is that some ridiculous ideas have been thrown around and landed in some high places. That you want to associate something like this to crazies just goes to show that crazies do indeed get ridiculous shit into politics.

By the way, since PETA didn't cite, I will [guardian.co.uk] . That this landed on the UN discussion table and was taken seriously doesn't mean it's not wholly insane.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677956)

First, I was saying that science does change its mind according to the facts, rather than changing its facts according to what it wants to be true.

Second, it was just odd and bad practice that it was linked through PETA. Its like linking to a story written by written by crack heads for the legalization of crack and puppies.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34678104)

Please don't quote PETA. You'd get more reliable astrophysics data by quoting a 8 year old elementary student then quoting PETA on farmyard animal/pet related data.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678116)

The biggest problem is if the molten core shifts around, then the localized heat sources change, which changes the temperature of the ground surface, the oceans, and the atmosphere given enough time. This would eventually lead to civilization-annoying weather pattern changes, causing regular cycling climates (hot summer, cold snowy winter) to become either more extreme (hotter summer, colder winter) or tilted (hotter summer, winters that are cold and rainy). This of course distorts any functioning agrarian society while the whole disaster continues; things have to be moved around after the weather settles down again.

Actually, geothermal energy at the surface of the earth is pretty negligible. Nearly all (99% +) thermal energy at the surface of the earth is due to solar radiation; it is unlikely that a lack of geothermal energy would have much of a direct impact on climate, although the end of all volcanic activity and specifically associated off-gassing would have a very significant effect.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677374)

Was that the made-for-SciFi-channel movie featuring Wil Wheaton as one of the scientists? I tuned in about halfway through and hadn't yet absorbed enough plotyons for it to keep my attention, so I never saw the end.

But in terms of science and plausibility, I found the Mongolian Death Worm movie to be much more realistic.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (2)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677412)

Who cares about Molten Core?! You're three expansions late, dude.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677536)

That was one of the best documentaries I'd seen in a while.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

babywhiz (781786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677620)

I blame Ragnaros.....

build the shield from the movie with the aliens fo (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677652)

build the shield from the movie with the aliens form zeist.

Yes the movie is so bad I had to hide the name of it.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677864)

No no no, are you crazy?

Think of it this way. The planet's shields are effectively down. All we need to do is fill a photon torpedo with tachyons and launch it into the core so it reverses the core's polarity. That will fix everything.

Re:Our molten core is shifting (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677926)

Ahaha. That was great. :)

Re:Our molten core is shifting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677990)

"Essentially, we would become windswept by the solar wind and would end up without an atmosphere, much like Mars."

Actually on Space.com a while back there was an article about some measurements taken by one of the more recent probes to the planet. Based on their measurements and calculations the actual amount of atmosphere lost due to the solar wind is far less than previously believed. I believe at the moment the current concusses is that Mars currently possesses much of its original atmosphere (~80-90%), it has simply infiltrated into the crust (either remaining a gas or turning into a liquid/solid (chemical or temperature process)) due to the lack of a molten core. If true it could make future colonization much more practical. Initially colonies could "mine" atmosphere by constructing extremely deep mine shafts, possibly with offshoot tunnels for improved productivity, and pumping the pooling atmosphere into dome cities. Eventually as more cities are formed and more/deeper shafts are excavated the "waste atmosphere" from the cities would build up the outside atmospheric pressure.

Of course for both Earth (if we lost our magnetic shield) and Mars solar/cosmic radiation would still be a problem. I'm not exactly sure on the numbers but I'm sure cancer & birth defect rates without a magnetic field would at least double, probably more. And that's with a warning system in place that told people to take shelter during solar storms. But I would wager humanity would be able to survive it, it might cause a massive shift in lifestyle (underground dwellings, extinction of susceptible species, decreased food supplies, etc)

World stability (5, Funny)

snsh (968808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677202)

This is good news. Everyone knows that you regain stability by moving all your poles into the right hand plane.

Re:World stability (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677324)

Everyone knows that you regain stability by moving all your poles into the right hand plane.

Only if the positive portion of the plane is on the left side. In Australia, perhaps?

Re:World stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677538)

What do you care where i move my pole...?

Re:World stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677626)

Your *other* right.

Re:World stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677846)

That's only true if it's the plane on the right that's bound to Poland.

Grid North to Magnetic North (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677208)

On military tactical maps, there's a diagram for converting from grid North (straight up using MGRS maps) to magnetic north (where the needle points on a compass). It'll say add or subtract some number of degrees to convert from one to the other, and each map is different depending on where in the world it is depicting. Since many of these maps are several years old, I wonder what impact this will have on ground navigation?

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677332)

On military tactical maps, there's a diagram for converting from grid North (straight up using MGRS maps) to magnetic north (where the needle points on a compass). It'll say add or subtract some number of degrees to convert from one to the other, and each map is different depending on where in the world it is depicting. Since many of these maps are several years old, I wonder what impact this will have on ground navigation?

Probably little... for those applications where using the magnetic north pole is good enough, that'll likely stay the case if the pole shifts a bit. For applications where higher accuracy is needed, other systems like GPS would be used.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677582)

I'm thinking specifically of orienteering, where the angle and distance is calculated off of a 1:50,000 scale map, and the angle is then converted to magnetic angle, and the distance converted to a pace count. A difference of even a degree can mean a big difference when you're pacing out a few thousand yards. Not every soldier and Marine has a handheld GPS, and this method of ground nav is still taught and used today. If a given map happens to be old and in a place on the globe where the difference is more severe, I can imagine being off by a good deal. Not the end of the world, but something most soldiers and Marines are probably nor aware of.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677640)

Most of the maps that need that kind of accuracy are on a yearly update cycle anyway - for example aviation maps which also have the magnetic/geographic conversion numbers on them. I guess the military cartographers are very well aware of the problem and update accordingly. The drift within one year or whatever the upgrade cycle is shouldn't matter much.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677424)

Aviation maps (sectional charts) expire after just a few months. I expect military maps have a similar lifetime. You wouldn't want to execute an attack only to find someone's unexpectedly dug a new drainage ditch through the middle of their fields.

The new maps would have the current values for magnetic declination.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677532)

You would never conduct a military op these days without recent overhead imagery anyway. And new paper maps would have the new declination diagram in the marginal information, but digital maps don't have the accompanying marginal information. I can imagine someone looking at an old paper map for the declination diagram and plotting the coordinates on a digital map on Google Earth or ArcGIS or something.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677552)

If you have an old map, you can simply check the current declination online before venturing afield. For most "ground navigation" applications this is good enough. Most people (myself included) can't get a compass bearing to within a half-degree of accuracy anyhow.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677752)

The military (US) maps I'm familiar with also indicate the rate of drift for magnetic north, so if you really need that accuracy (something we did in some cases for laying artillery firing batteries in the Olden Days without GPS and intertial nav systems...) you'd check the date of the map, calculate the current drift, and apply that corrected correction.

So if rate of change is accelerating (2nd derivative), that makes the calculation a lot more interesting.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677862)

That's interesting. I don't remember seeing rate of change in the declination diagram or elsewhere in the marginal information. Not that I knew what all was in there, but I did teach mapping for a few years in the Marine Corps (2000-2003). The maps we used were dated from about 1977 or so, and were updated while I was there (had to redo every test, quiz, prac ap, etc). When were the "Olden Days" for you?

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677942)

ROTC mid '70s, active duty '78-'82, in the National Guard to about '94. Field Artillery Officer Basic was one of the few Officer courses you could flunk out of at that time with 2 segments you had to pass, Map Reading and Observed Fires.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678094)

As I recall (they're up in the cabin now, and unfortunately I'm not) the old maps we have of Lake of the Woods have a magnetic declination rose tilted slightly from the main true-north-facing rose. In the magnetic rose is a note that says something like "1978 values, changing at 7 minutes east per year."

I remember being fascinated at the fact that the drift was predictable enough to publish. But would I trust that I could still take the map out now, multiply the value by 32 and it'd still be accurate? That's well over 3 degrees of shift, so we could be looking at a significant difference.

All in all, the maps are probably still good enough for a motorboat excursion across the lake, but not in fog.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677848)

Maritime and Aeronautic charts have the same correction scales to convert from map North (always at the top and aligned with Longitude) to magnetic North. These charts are re-issued (and the correction scales as well as other things updated) on a regular basis (and I suspect military tactical maps are as well), so age of the map will be less of an issue than you might think.

Re:Grid North to Magnetic North (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677932)

The maps may be re-issued, printed and distributed. That doesn't mean everyone gets them. I was active duty Marine Corps, and our map room was stocked with 10-20 year old maps; or, rather, they were new looking maps that were last updated 10-20 years before. I can't recall anyone throwing out an otherwise perfectly good map after only a year, particularly for a new map that was probably only slightly different.

Tripe (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677240)

From 2009 [slashdot.org] (almost the one year anniversary) and 2005 [slashdot.org] .

dip pole dipole magnetic pole north pole pole pole (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677262)

So... now we should be concerned because the magnetic pole is "rapidly" heading towards the geographic pole? Oh noes!

It is somewhat interesting that it is moving around pretty quickly, but it would be much more interesting if the magnetic pole was headed south instead; a little geomagnetic excursion from time to time is a healthy thing, don't you think?

On the plus side, the declination printed on all those USGS sectionals should be getting more accurate again...

Re:dip pole dipole magnetic pole north pole pole p (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677342)

Imagine a rapid, global polarity switch...Massive Electromagnetic Pulse, anyone?

Re:dip pole dipole magnetic pole north pole pole p (0)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677378)

I've seen what happens when a rapid polarity reversal occurs. If you don't take care, the tachyon flux can cause an uncontrolled neutrino emission and cause a breach in the dilithium chamber.

In Soviet Russia... (0)

charlieo88 (658362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677274)

...magnetic North points to YOU!

Alternative solution (4, Funny)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677298)

How about we just stick a GIANT MAGNET right smack on the real North Pole? That way, we don't need to worry about the "natural" pole shifting. Set this artificial magnet to have a different frequency than the earth's natural magnetism, so we can set our compass magnets to that same frequency and not worry about interference. (This will also keep this valuable asset from wandering into Russian territory.)

Re:Alternative solution (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677366)

Magnets.... frequency... what?

Re:Alternative solution (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677470)

roflmao!

Re:Alternative solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677542)

Never mind, it just a post by the BadAnalogyGuy...

Wait, what?!

Re:Alternative solution (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677406)

Quick! Is there a Geophysicist in the house???

This would make an excellent in class calculation for a Geophysics lecture. Just how big a set neodymium magnets (one north, one south) would it take to override the earth's magnetic field? If installed, would the core actually align with it? How bad would it be if you installed them backwards?

Re:Alternative solution (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677438)

How bad would it be if you installed them backwards?

Don't do that. Never cross the streams.

Re:Alternative solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677512)

...Magnets don't come in "north" and "south" models. That's like asking someone for a one-sided coin.

Re:Alternative solution (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677528)

This would make an excellent in class calculation for a Geophysics lecture. Just how big a set neodymium magnets (one north, one south) would it take to override the earth's magnetic field? If installed, would the core actually align with it? How bad would it be if you installed them backwards?

Quick... someone find not just ONE magnetic monopole, but two!

Re:Alternative solution (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677468)

But in order to generate enough magnetism to align the giant magnet we'd have to reroute power through the deflector dish and reverse polarity on the electromagnetic field; like souring the mother's milk.

Re:Alternative solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677476)

Don't forget to distribute your magnet's WEP Encryption key so that we can use it to...

Where is Al Gore when you need him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677338)

This somehow has to be our fault, right?

It's actually the south magnetical pole. (2, Informative)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677414)

The magnetical north pole is on the opposite side of the planet, close to our geographical south pole; a compass' N needle points towards the magnetical south pole, but as we use compasses to orient towards our geographical south pole, we simply mark the needle N.

Re:It's actually the south magnetical pole. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677490)

Is the magnetic south pole *exactly* or just *approximately* opposite of the north magnetic pole? Do they move in tandem?

Re:It's actually the south magnetical pole. (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677698)

Is the magnetic south pole *exactly* opposite of the north magnetic pole?

Not according to Wikipedia (citation needed).

Do they move in tandem?

Sort of.

Re:It's actually the south magnetical pole. (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677540)

Is that some strange combination of magnetic and medical? My grandmother has some magnetized bracelets that are supposed to help with arthritis; I suppose they could be magnetical...

Re:It's actually the south magnetical pole. (3, Insightful)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677562)

You’re confusing the issue unnecessarily, and you’re incorrect. The “North Magnetic Pole” is the one geographically near to the North Pole, although it is magnetically a south pole.

Well... (3, Informative)

Zinner (873653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677566)

Actually, the correct names are "North Seeking Pole" and "South Seeking Pole" shortened to North pole and South pole. The North (seeking) pole of the compass needle actually does point north. In the arctic, a standard hypothetical test monopole is repelled, making it north.

Re:It's actually the south magnetical pole. (1)

jachim69 (125669) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677878)

Are you the same idiot that commented the TFA?

It's called the North Magnetic Pole because it's the magnetic pole at the north end of the planet!

In modern Russia... (2)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677420)

north pole goes to you.

In Soviet Russia . . . (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677514)

. . . Compass needles point towards YOU!

The poles.. (1)

angiasaa (758006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677530)

I'm sure MI5 could turn a polish spy into revealing something about his people. Scientists should think out-of-the-box for once!

In Soviet Russia ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677556)

... north pole moves you to Siberia!

....PROFIT!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677580)

Airport runway numbers are actually current compass heading. When magnetic north shifts enough, they have to renumber the runways. So....

1. Shift magnetic north
2. Get contracts to repaint runway numbers
3. PROFIT!

Re:....PROFIT!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34678016)

Repaint the runway numbers? And here I was thinking that you would have to dig up the runways and re-lay the asphalt so that they could point to the correct position using their current numbers.

GW (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677614)

Damn that George W Bush for not signing the Koyoto treaty.
This is almost as bad as when he caused Pompeii to be destroyed by not signing that treaty. And it also caused the death of Baby Jesus. Damn that GW Bush!

Brought to you by the Slashdot for Our Lord Obama Committee.

Pole reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677734)

Isn't one of the 2012 crazy end of days scenarios that the magnetic poles reverse suddenly? I loathe to go down that line of thought but it could explain it?

bizarro world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34677754)

So the Poles are invading Siberia now?

What is this, a Soviet Russia joke?

We need a new treaty (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677796)

..unless you are one of those deniers that think that the Global Pole Shifting wasnt caused by human activity.

Magratheans running Beta software? (2)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677812)

Slartibartfast needs to fix this. This is what happens when you use untested software.

YOU Know the Cause (4, Funny)

ChiRaven (800537) | more than 3 years ago | (#34677952)

You just don't want to admit it. It's another inevitable byproduct of anthropogenic global warming caused by greenhouses gasses. That should be obvious to anyone. Expect the IPCC papers on the subject to be exposed by a whistle-blower any day now. Insiders are predicting that the studies will show that the pole is repelled by the stronger SOURCES of the gasses, but there is a lag effect, so it is only now moving away from US, and toward Siberia. In an exchange of email messages also to be released at the same time by this anonymous whistle-blower, two of the secondary authors are reported to have said "aren't these econometric models WONDERFULLY flexible?"

Everyone brace (1)

ca111a (1078961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34678176)

for the incoming flood of "in soviet Russia" jokes...
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