Are Oceans Moving Earth's Magnetic Poles?

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Are our oceans magnetic - and, if so, are they dragging Earth's magnetic fields around with them when they move? That's a theory proposed by one American scientist... and described as "garbage" by others.

According to Gregory Ryskin of Northwestern University, Earth's magnetic field lines are being dragged by ocean currents, and changing due to the oceans' own magnetic fields, which are generated by electricity flowing through the seawater. According to other scientists, however, not so much:

Despite the supporting evidence, the hypothesis has been met with strong objections from mainstream geophysicists. "Physicists should know better," said one when contacted by New Scientist.


Not everyone is entirely dismissing the idea out of hand, however; Imperial College London geophysicist Raymond Hide says that his water theory holds water, and suggests that geophycisists should be thanking Ryskin for his research. We're just wondering why the poles are moving if it's not because of the oceans...

Earth's poles may be tugged around by oceans [New Scientist]