Earth’s weakening magnetic field: Dramatic dips spotted across the Western Hemisphere could damage satellites
July 2014– GEOLOGY – Earth’s magnetic field is a protective shield for our planet from cosmic radiation, but it’s also somewhat of a mystery – scientists aren’t sure why it moves and changes in intensity. And now the first set of high-resolution results from Esa’s three-satellite Swarm constellation reveal that the field is actually getting weaker, albeit by a small amount. Measurements made over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field’s weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere. Launched in November 2013, Swarm is providing unprecedented insights into the complex workings of Earth’s magnetic field, which safeguards us from the bombarding cosmic radiation and charged particles. In some areas, such as the southern Indian Ocean, the magnetic field has strengthened since January – although the overall trend is a weakening. The latest measurements also confirm the movement of magnetic North towards Siberia.
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