Drift of the North Pole forces early magnetic map update ars_ab.settitle(1451611)


This has sped up to around 25 miles per year in recent decades. And it went to 34 miles per year (55 kilometers per year), not per hour.

Over time, and especially in a scenario where Earth reverses polarity and the magnetic poles swap places, the moving of the Magnetic North Pole will affect animals, birds and sea life that use the polls' magnetic fields for navigation.

For this reason, the recently announced update to the World Magnetic Model, the mathematical foundation for navigation which allows magnetic north to be precisely fixed, is crucial, and could not have come a moment too soon.

This shift of magnetic pole is an emerging issue for all smartphone makers as the device compasses are getting more inaccurate by the day.

Since 1831, the north magnetic has been moving across the Canadian Arctic towards Russian Federation, which is unlike the geographic north pole, which is fixed.

The constant shift is a problem for compasses in smartphones and some consumer electronics.

The magnetic shift might not be an issue for satellite-based Global Positioning System but United States military ships in the region rely on the pole for navigation.

The NOAA said the WMM is used by the military, NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Forest Service for mapping, navigation, and air traffic management. "Airports around the country use the data to give runways numerical names, which pilots refer to on the ground", said the agency.

But its swift pace toward Siberia in recent years at a rate of around 55 kilometres per year has forced scientists to update the World Magnetic Model - used by civilian navigation systems, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and United States and British militaries - a year ahead of schedule.

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It's sort of pulling the magnetic field all the way across to its side of the geographic pole.

This phenomenon was first observed in 1831 when the speed of such shift was just 9mph however, after the year 2000 it has changed to 34 miles per hour. Earth's magnetic field is created in its liquid outer core, which is made of liquid iron and nickel.

The South Magnetic Pole is moving far slower than the north.

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 last time it so happened, with the magnetic north pole getting somewhere near where the magnetic south pole now is, was about 780,000 years ago.

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

When it does, it will not be like a coin flip, but will take 1,000 or more years, experts said.

With the magnetic field of the Earth changing more than predicted, the values can be off requiring an out-of-cycle update such as this.

This pole is defined as the point at which magnetic field lines point vertically down.