If you are making a list of all the bad things that are happening to our planet because of human activities, here is the latest one to add. The latest research has found that climate change is causing the Earth’s magnetic poles to shift rapidly. Shifting of poles, also called polar drifting, is not a thing that is happening to our icy planet for the first time. However, climate change has sped up the process. Climate change is causing our glaciers to melt faster than usual, and the accelerated glacial melting is the main driver of rapid polar drift, found the research.
The study, which indicates a close relationship between polar motion and climate change, was conducted by Shanshan Deng, Suxia Liu, and Xingguo Mo from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Liguang Jiang and Peter Bauer-Gottwein from the Technical University of Denmark.
According to the study, the change in the Earth’s shape, orientation and gravity field indicates that the north pole drifted in a new eastern direction in the 1990s. The rapid change in the Earth’s axis impacts our beautiful blue planet’s magnetic field. Rapid changes in the magnetic field can alter the layer of protection it provides to us, which can lead to space radiation reaching to us to damage our cells and cause cancer, failing biological compasses built inside many creatures such as birds who entirely depend on the Earth’s magnetic field for their navigation.
The Earth’s magnetic field is already weakening in an area of South America and the Southern Atlantic Ocean. NASA calls this weak spot in the magnetic shield the South Atlantic Anamoly. This ‘slowly splitting dent’ allows charged particles and radiation coming from the sun to dip closer to the surface than normal. According to NASA, “Particle radiation in this region can knock out onboard computers and interfere with the data collection of satellites that pass through it.” Currently, this dent has no visible impacts on daily life. However, NASA’s observations show that the spot is weakening and expanding westward.