North magnetic pole fast moving towards Siberia, forcing navigation fix

North magnetic pole fast moving towards Siberia, forcing navigation fix

Earth's north magnetic pole is wandering about 55 kilometres a year. While modern smartphones, vehicles, ships, and airliners are connected to satellite-based navigation systems, like GPS and GLONASS, their receivers don't provide a sense of direction, rather, only a person or vehicle's fixed location.

SINCE MONDAY, news publications across the world have been reporting that the magnetic north pole is drifting fast from the Canadian Arctic and towards Russian Federation.

"With the last release in 2015, the next version is scheduled for release at the end of 2019". The point is moving approximately 55km every year and in 2017 it moved past the global date line, the point of longitude in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is the crossing point between 11.59pm on one day and 12am on the next.

The magnetic north pole has been moving so fast that scientists on Monday released an update of where it really was, almost a year ahead of schedule. Although not a problem for the general population, the effects of a shifting pole are creating headaches for military systems.

Magnetic North is on the move, and it has implications for everything from navigation to consumer products.

The World Magnetic Model (WMM) enables compasses to point north and is used in navigation systems.

The magnetic North is the point at which the planet's magnetic field points vertically down.

The magnetic north pole, or south pole, does not coincide with the geographical north or south pole.


On Monday, NOAA announced the release of an update to the World Magnetic Model, a tool that tracks how the Earth's magnetic field changes depending on where you're located on the planet.

The NOAA said Earth's magnetic field changes because of "unpredictable flows in Earth's core. Airports around the country use the data to give runways numerical names, which pilots refer to on the ground", said the agency. The magnetic north pole has always been moving, but the most recent release of the World Magnetic Model shows that it is moving very quickly, but nobody really knows how to predict its shift.

"The magnetic field (changes) continuously, but it is partly because of its natural behavior", Ciaran Beggan, a geophysicist at the British Geological Survey, who also works on the WMM, told CNN.

The reason is turbulence in Earth's liquid outer core.

It has happened numerous times in Earth's past, but not in the last 780,000 years.

This, however, is just a theory, but all we have to say is please don't take our Google Maps away from us.

The magnetic south pole is moving far slower than the north.

'It's not a question of if it's going to reverse, the question is when it's going to reverse, ' Dr Lathrop said.

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