Check your compass: The magnetic north pole is on the move

Check your compass: The magnetic north pole is on the move

At the end of 2017, it crossed the worldwide date line.

In early 2018, scientists in charge of the model update realized they needed to have an earlier update in order to keep within the acceptable limits for magnetic-based navigation.

Earth's magnetic north pole is moving away from the Canadian Arctic toward Siberia, according to scientists. Normally, new WMM maps are released every five years, and the next release was due at the end of 2019. Aeroplanes and ships rely on magnetic north, generally As backup navigation, " said University of Colorado geophysicist Arno Shullya, lead author of the recently released World Magnetic Model.

Magnetic field variation is normal, if not easily predicted, but changes typically don't throw off navigation systems enough to warrant more frequent updates to the model.

Airport runway names are also based on their direction toward magnetic north and their names change when the poles moved. "Airports around the country use the data to give runways numerical names, which pilots refer to on the ground", said the agency.

Since 1831 when it was first measured in the Canadian Arctic it has moved about 1,400 miles (2300 kilometers) toward Siberia. This has sped up to around 25 miles per year in recent decades. Scientists this week have updated the location of magnetic north a year ahead of schedule. This electric current then produces a magnetic field, which flows with the Earth's hot runny core.

Whenever there is turbulence in our planet's outer liquid core, the magnetic poles shift in ways that are "unpredictable".

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"Due to unplanned variations in the Arctic region, scientists have released a new model to more accurately represent the change of the magnetic field between 2015 and now", said NOAA in a news release on February 4. A National Geographic post explains, the magnetic north is what your compass locates, which is defined as the point at which magnetic field lines point vertically down.

It has happened numerous times in Earth's past, but not in the last 780,000 years. Only by tracking it, said University of Leeds geophysicist Phil Livermore, can scientists hope to understand what's going on.

Some scientists believe that Earth could be heading for a magnetic pole reversal. "If one 'plays the tape backwards, ' the record shows Earth's magnetic field strengthening, weakening, and often changing polarity".

The magnetic field shields Earth from some risky radiation, Mr Lathrop said. If the mathematically expected location of the Magnetic North Pole is wrong, navigation equipment will be off kilter.

'Our war fighters use magnetics to orient their maps. "The magnetic field (changes) continuously, but it is partly because of its natural behavior".

'All of these examples need the WMM to provide your proper orientation'.

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