The British explorer James Clark Ross was the first one to determine the position of the magnetic North Pole in June 1831. At his time, he found it at Cape Adelaide on the Boothia Peninsula. At that time, it was already known that the magnetic pole moves, but in a slow manner.
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Seventy-two years later, in 1903, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen found the magnetic North Pole again, albeit in a slightly different position. Over the next 90 years, the pole would move northwards at a rate of up to 15 kilometers per year.
Then, in 1990, it suddenly began to accelerate northwards. In 2017, it passed the geographic North Pole and is now heading south towards Siberia.
Scientists usually update the position of the magnetic pole every five years. But in 2019, the movement was so fast and unexpected that scientists were forced to issue an extra, irregular update so that navigation devices that rely on it could be corrected.
What causes the sudden acceleration of the magnetic North Pole?
Find out the answer over at Discover Magazine.
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