Our planet is never still and its poles are on a move. The geographic north pole is in the same place it always was, but its magnetic counterpart that we know as the ‘N’ on the compass is now drifting from the Canadian Arctic towards Siberia at record-breaking speeds that has scientists puzzled.
Although the pace of the movement is remarkable, the movement itself isn’t. Due to fluctuations in the flow of molten iron within the Earth’s core that affects Earth’s magnetic field, the North pole is never truly stationary and has traveled around 2,250 kilometres since it was discovered in 1831. According to the NOAA’s National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI), this wandering has generally been quite slow, allowing scientists to keep a track of its position fairly easily. However, it has quickened in the past few decades, accelerating to an average speed of 55 kilometres per year.
Although scientists can’t fully explain the core fluctuations that are driving North pole’s restlessness, they can always map Earth’s magnetic field and calculate its rate of change over time, which helps us estimate how it may be distributed in the future. This system is called World Magnetic Model (WMM), a representation of the magnetic field observations that powers everything from navigational tools like GPS to mapping services and consumer compass apps, and is used by NASA, the FAA, and the military, among other institutions. Despite its importance, the WMM is not set in stone and the readings have to be updated every five years to keep the model accurate.
The latest surprising movement of the North pole has pushed the WMM bodies, the NCEI and the BGS to update the model last week mid-cycle. The refresh usually comes a whole year ahead of schedule, but due to the unusual pace the magnetic north pole has been shifting, the WMM readings have been outdated faster than usual this time around.
While the speed fluctuations seem abrupt, it is relatively a more moderate range of pole movement that has happened in Earth’s history. Magnetic poles can actually flip if they move far enough out of position and this is something that has happened every few hundred of thousands of years. No one can tell for certain when that might happen next, but if it does, there will be serious implications on human life. Meanwhile, the new WMM data is good until 2025.
Cover Credit: NOAA NCEI
VIDEO: Why Nova Scotia health officials are testing for COVID-19 in a community that's largely been spared from the virus – TheChronicleHerald.ca
Over the weekend of Jan. 16-17, people in the Bridgewater, N.S. area were offered rapid COVID-19 testing for the first time since the province introduced the process last fall.
In the video above, Dr. John Ross speaks to SaltWire’s Sheldon MacLeod about why Nova Scotia health officials are looking for the virus in a community that has been mostly free of infections, even during the height of the outbreaks in the province.
A 'super-puff' planet like no other – Nanowerk
As big as Jupiter but 10 times lighter
A gas giant in the making
Discovery of a second planet
Pool closures a bitter pill for people with disabilities – CBC.ca
Mary Jane Clinkard suffers from a neuromuscular disability that requires her to exercise to maintain her strength, but with municipal pools under lockdown since Boxing Day, she hasn’t been able to do that.
Now her muscles feel weak, stiff and painful, and her independence is in jeopardy. The 50-year-old fears she’ll need a personal support worker to get in and out of her wheelchair if she can’t get back into the water soon.
Clinkard, who has hypotonia, told CBC’s Ottawa Morning it’s especially disheartening when she hears others talking about the activities they’re able to do during the lockdown.
“I get really, really frustrated when I hear, ‘We all go skating or go skiing,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, I can’t do either of those,'” Clinkard said.
Once the pools reopened in July, it took Clinkard months of swimming three times a week to get back into shape. Then Ontario entered another lockdown.
The Sandy Hill woman would like to see swimming pools deemed essential, and said she’s not the only one who depends on them for her health.
“There are other people who cannot walk, who cannot ski, cannot skate,” she said.
According to Dan Chenier, the city’s general manager of recreation, cultural and facility services, the provincial restrictions currently in place don’t allow exemptions for people wishing to use indoor municipal facilities for physical therapy or rehabilitation.
“Provincial authorities have been made aware of the request for an exemption for […] these services and the City will be monitoring the revised regulations for any changes,” Chenier said in an emailed statement.
When am I going to be back in the water? When am I going to be able to swim again?– Mary Jane Clinkard
According to the office of Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s solicitor general, the second wave of COVID-19 poses a serious threat to the province’s most vulnerable.
“The single most important thing Ontarians can do right now to protect our most vulnerable is to stay at home,” wrote Stephen Warner, Jones’s press secretary and issues manager. “As we continue our vaccine rollout, this is our best defense against this virus.”
According to Warner, municipalities don’t have the power to ease restrictions put in place under the province’s lockdown.
Restrictions ‘frustrating and difficult’
Under the stay-at-home order, only “exercising, including walking or moving around outdoors using an assistive mobility device, or using an outdoor recreational amenity” are allowed.
Coun. Matt Luloff, who represents Orléans and sits on the city’s community and protective services committee, called that lack of flexibility “frustrating and difficult.”
Ottawa Morning8:34Pool use for disabled people during lockdown
On Monday, Luloff told Ottawa Morning if exemptions can be made for NHL players, then people who rely on certain facilities for their health and well-being should be granted similar leeway.
“We can say to one group of people that it’s fine to … bubble and to provide entertainment for us,” he told Ottawa Morning on Monday. “But when there’s a real need, a real physical [or] mental health need, that’s just not as important as getting to see the Sens play.”
“Maybe if the city doesn’t feel comfortable opening people pools for everybody, they can open one pool for people who really need it,” Clinkard suggested. “When am I going to be back in the water? When am I going to be able to swim again?”
Reminder: Deadline for RNAO's Media Awards is Feb. 26 – Canada NewsWire
Why need for roster flexibility forced Maple Leafs’ hand in latest moves – Sportsnet.ca
Trump administration halts supplies to Huawei in final days of presidency – MobileSyrup
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Galaxy M31 July 2020 security update brings Glance, a content-driven lockscreen wallpaper service
Sports15 hours ago
Why the Maple Leafs put Jason Spezza, Aaron Dell on waivers – The Athletic
News20 hours ago
COVID-19 worsening Canadian students' diets, inactivity, alcohol consumption: study – CTV News
Real eState2 hours ago
Avoid These Common Problems with Professional Window Installation
Sports10 hours ago
Saints’ Drew Brees mum on future after playoff loss to Buccaneers
Health21 hours ago
Ontario inspectors find 36 stores violating COVID-19 rules during big-box safety blitz – CTV Toronto
Sports11 hours ago
Drew Brees’ career possibly ends with more Saints playoff sorrow as Tom Brady and Bucs move on
Health10 hours ago
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 18 – CBC.ca
Politics23 hours ago
Live politics updates: Twitter temporarily suspends account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene – USA TODAY