Our planet's magnetic field is in a constant state of change, say researchers who are beginning to understand how it behaves and why. The pole kept going during the 20th century, north at an average speed of 10 km per year, lately accelerating "to 40 km per year," says Newitt. Earth's magnetic field is changing in other ways, too: Compass needles in Africa, for instance, are drifting about 1 degree per decade. Magnetic stripes around mid-ocean ridges reveal the history of Earth's magnetic field for millions of years. Earth's magnetic field comes from this ocean of iron, which is an electrically conducting fluid in constant motion. Using the equations of magnetohydrodynamics, a branch of physics dealing with conducting fluids and magnetic fields, Glatzmaier and colleague Paul Roberts have created a supercomputer model of Earth's interior. What they see mimics the real Earth: The magnetic field waxes and wanes, poles drift and, occasionally, flip.
The North Magnetic Pole -- (Geological Survey of Canada) find out where the north magnetic pole is now, and much more. Core Concerns -- (Science News) The hidden reaches of Earth are starting to reveal some of their secrets. Earth's North Magnetic Pole -- (APOD) The North Magnetic Pole is currently located in northern Canada.
As remarkable as these changes sound, "they're mild compared to what Earth's magnetic field has done in the past," says University of California professor Gary Glatzmaier.

Sitting atop the hot inner core, the liquid outer core seethes and roils like water in a pan on a hot stove.
Their software heats the inner core, stirs the metallic ocean above it, then calculates the resulting magnetic field. Reversals take a few thousand years to complete, and during that time--contrary to popular belief--the magnetic field does not vanish. On the left is a normal dipolar magnetic field, typical of the long years between polarity reversals. The side of the Earth upon which the solar wind plasma is incident is compressed to a distance between 10-15 times the Earth’s radius (RE).
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When this was mentioned by researchers at a recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union, many newspapers carried the story. The outer core also has "hurricanes"--whirlpools powered by the Coriolis forces of Earth's rotation.
On the right is the sort of complicated magnetic field Earth has during the upheaval of a reversal. Instead of shivering in Resolute Bay, he could enjoy the warm South Pacific, hopping from island to island, hunting for magnetic poles while auroras danced overhead. The dipole has its South pole pointing towards the geomagnetic North pole, and its North pole pointing towards the geomagnetic South pole.

They come at irregular intervals averaging about 300,000 years; the last one was 780,000 years ago. The dipole moment, a measure of the intensity of the magnetic field, is now 8 x 1022 amps x m2. These complex motions generate our planet's magnetism through a process called the dynamo effect.
Magnetic lines of force near Earth's surface become twisted and tangled, and magnetic poles pop up in unaccustomed places. The reason being because the magnet attracts a magnet that has an opposite pole and has the characteristic of repelling a magnet that has the same charge.Magnetic field density is the unit that shows how strong a magnetic field is. The intensity of the field is lowest near the Equator and greatest near the South and North poles. But it's still a planetary magnetic field, and it still protects us from space radiation and solar storms. This can cause the atoms in the upper atmosphere to become excited and release photons – this is what causes the phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis. The disturbance that the earth mainly receives is from the solar wind(produced by the solar flare on the sun).

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