Science Tuesday

Blog Post
If you’re a flat-Earth conspiracy person, you may want to simply ignore the fact that Earth’s magnetic north is shifting far faster than expected. It has been known that the Earth’s magnetic pole moves over time since James Clark Ross’ measurements in the Canadian Arctic in 1831, but recently the field has shifted faster than expected — so fast, in fact, that it threatens to interfere with navigation systems around the world.

The movement of the Earth’s magnetic field is described by the World Magnetic Model, which is used by navigation systems of all kinds from the GPS on your phone to the complex navigation systems used by ships at sea. The most recent version of the model was released in 2015 and should have been satisfactory until its scheduled update in 2020, however, the magnetic field has moved so quickly that an update is required sooner than that.

Scientists believe that the shifting magnetic field is due to liquid iron within the planet’s core moving around. There was a particularly strong geomagnetic pulse in 2016, where the magnetic field temporarily accelerated under South America. Could this impact the climate? NO says global warming experts. It’s all about mankind (and the desperate need for more taxes).
Meanwhile, in France
On 12 January in Paris, thousands of protesters marched noisily but mostly peacefully through the Grands Boulevards shopping area in northern Paris. Police arrested 156 “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) in Paris, some for carrying objects that could be used as weapons, police said. Riot police used water cannons on a break away group neat the Arc de Triomphe.
By nightfall, there had been no looting or burning of cars as seen in previous weeks and traffic circulation had resumed around the Arc de Triomphe area. 
Large demonstrations were reported in Toulon, Bourdeaux, Strasbourg and Bourges. 
The Interior Ministry estimated that there were a maximum of 84,000 demonstrators nationwide. That is an increase over the more than the 50,000 who marched in protest last weekend. 
In Paris, the ministry reported 8,000 demonstrators, more than in the past two weekends, when authorities tallied just 3,500 people on 5 January and only 800 on 29 December.
On 13 January, French press published a long letter by President Macron in which he announced a three-month national debate to try to end the “yellow vest” unrest, He pledged to listen to new ideas.
A long letter to protestors probably will miscarry especially since Macron wrote that he will not change his policies. The outreach effort is clumsy. 

20 thoughts on “Science Tuesday

  1. Not knowing exactly how things work, does a GPS rely on magnetism, or just satellite information? I noticed on board USS Kidd that CIC had a GPS, so would ships rely solely on magnetism? Asking fr a friend!

  2. Submarines use a Ships Inertial Navigation System (SINS) that feeds information into a Navigation Data Computer. They rely on the movement of the submarine from a given, known position to plot for location (important if you're going to launch ballistic missiles). GPS relies on satellite position. But a lot of systems also use magnetic north. And if that changes radically, or if the poles switch (north becomes south – as has happened historically), it becomes a very big deal. All these changes also have an impact on climate. The fact that there is a massive sea of oil under the Arctic illustrates that it wasn't always the "North Pole". Maybe if we pay enough tax, magnetic north will remain the same?

  3. The French have had it with getting taxed to death: value-added-tax, sales tax, income tax, tax tax. Average tax rate 47% per French taxpayer, that's almost slavery.

    As Herbert Stein quipped: 'if something can't go on, it won't.' This socialism in France can't go on. And it won't. With any luck, I will be around to see it collapse, and we Americans can, again, with any luck, learn from their folly.

  4. Do you REALLY think that we'll learn, slash the size of government and politicians will stop buying votes with our tax dollars?

  5. Fredd, the Democrat resistance to the Wall is all about trying to get ILLEGAL aliens across the border to bolster up their voters since Black people starting to wake up to the scam that they have been fed.

    If Hillary had been coronated queen, we would already have been out wearing yellow vests ourselves.

  6. This anti-wall thing cannot possibly go well for Chuck and Nancy. But they think they have a Royal Flush vs a pair of three's held by The Donald.

    I can't wait for 2020 election results. I think we will see yet another Republican landslide, and subsequent primal screams from astonished liberals who lost.

    All The Donald has to do is simply outlast Chuck and Nancy, which I think he knows this already.

    And no, not all of us will learn from France crashing and burning. There are the obtuse among us who figure that it was just the wrong people running French socialism that was the cause. If the RIGHT people are calling the shots, socialism is Utopia – not a tear in any eye, a chicken in every pot, etc.

  7. And 18 states prevailed in court removing a citizenship question so that they could profit from inflated populations.

  8. This Trump fellow has some nerve. His cutting taxes and regulations encourages malcontents all over the world to question their betters. Decades of advancing one world order is threatened.
    Taxes are necessary so the elites can lovingly guide deplorables toward a better world.

    Don't know just how but he is undoubtedly responsible for mucking up the magnetic North Pole.

    What is immediately needed is net neutrality so all these dangerous ideas can't be easily spread.

  9. If you're going to send money, please make it cash, small bills, non-sequential serial numbers. It will go to a good cause.

  10. On an aircraft carrier, SINS feeds into the aircraft as a pre-alignment tool, which also must account for ship and aircraft movement in three dimensions (pitch/roll/yaw/sway). Works fine to help find GPS satellites and provide alignment data for INS. But if the ship isn't moving at all, the aircraft (or ship/sub) must know which way it's pointing in addition to it's lat/long position, and that's based on magnetic north and and then derived to determine true north. So if magnetic is not accurate and the vessel starts moving, it takes a while to determine which way it's pointing. That can be bad if you can't see obstacles (or contested waters).
    Non-SINS capable aircraft are dependent on mag and true north in addition to GPS (if available) for INS alignment, to determine which way they're pointing, until they start moving.
    Non-commercial (bug smashers) and non-GPS aircraft that rely on compass only are HOSED!
    Example: you're standing on the pitcher's mound wearing a blindfold and someone has spun you around, stopping in a random direction. You know where you are (on the mound), but until the mask is removed, you don't know which way you're pointed (home/first/second/third base). Savvy?
    Wandering Neurons

  11. Well of course the Earth is flat, LL! I know this as I can see the Russian steps from my house. Maybe the Brits will start a bit of chaos now that Brexit is looking impossible. Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll all just sit down with a nice cup of tea before going shopping at John Lewis and lunching At Jamie Oliver’s Italian.

  12. I don't see how BREXIT is impossible. Is Britain no longer a sovereign nation? Are they so tied to Europe that they're only a European province now? How depressing that must be for the British.

    America did its own BREXIT in 1776…and the British thought we were just 'the colonies'.

  13. Everyone knows the earth is hollow but, like flat earth itself, some persist in believing in socialism.

    But in the end reality strikes, like a molten mass of iron. I'll wager the welfare immigrants will bear the brunt of that in France.

    Will Chuck 'n Nancy?

  14. I don't think that it was a molten mass of iron that caused the magnetic pole to shift, just a new sub development going in, inside the hollow Earth. Strip malls and so forth must be going in big time somewhere under Ecuador.

  15. of great concern is magnetic declination. as the poles move around the local deviation from true north also squiggle around. all my nav data for dead reckoning with clock and compass and airspeed is shot to hell. the damn runway numbers don't mean anything anymore. was sitting at the compass rose yesterday and it was way out there from the whisky compass reading. without GPS we would be in the crapper. I imagine if the mexico/usa border wall is built of metal it will again have effects of unknown magnitude on the old compass…

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