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North Pole moves as ice sheets melt

May 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM
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A new study has found that the Magnetic North Pole is moving east, toward Greenland, because of the rapid melting of earth's ice sheets.

Live Science reports that due to Earth's egg-shape the North Pole is always off center. However, the recent melting of Greenland's Ice Sheet has caused the North Pole to drift east.

According to Nature News, ice loss and the associated sea-level rise account for more than 90 percent of the polar shift as melting ice moves mass by diluting the oceans. Nevertheless, the liquefaction of Greenland has had a deep impact in the North Pole's current displacement.

"Both of [those factors] are contributing, but now we can say glacial melting in Greenland produces an observable polar motion," said Clark Wilson, a study co-author at the University of Texas, Austin.

Knowing the exact location of the North Pole is of critical importance for modern life a it is the foundation of GPS which guides people, military systems and planes through mapping apps.

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