How the Earth’s Magnetic Field is Changing

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The earth’s magnetic field protects our world from bombarding cosmic radiation and charge particles from outer space.  The field itself is in flux, constantly changing.  In November of 2013, the European Space Agency launched the three satellite constellation known as Swarm.

Changes in the Earth’s Magnetic Field

The ESA recently released the results of data collection from Swarm from the past six months. The measurements collected about the earth’s magnetic field show a trend towards weakening of the field, with the western hemisphere showing the greatest decline.  Not all areas of the earth are weakening.  The data measurements show that other areas of the earth, such as a section over the Indian Ocean are strengthening.


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The data collected by Swarm also confirmed the continued trend of the Magnetic North Pole moving towards Siberia.

‘Snapshot’ of the main magnetic field at Earth’s surface as of June 2014 based on Swarm data. The measurements are dominated by the magnetic contribution from Earth’s core (about 95%) while the contributions from other sources (the mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere) make up the rest. Red represents areas where the magnetic field is stronger, while blues show areas where it is weaker. Source: ESA/DTU Space
A view of the main magnetic field at Earth’s surface as of June 2014 based on Swarm data. The measurements are dominated by the magnetic contribution from Earth’s core (about 95%) while the contributions from other sources (the mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere) make up the rest. Red represents areas where the magnetic field is stronger, while blues show areas where it is weaker. Source: ESA/DTU Space

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