Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Earth's magnetic north pole is hurtling toward Russia

Earth's magnetic north pole is hurtling toward Russia

For decades, magnetic north was steadily inching away from the geographic North Pole, but for the last few years the north magnetic pole has been moving closer to the North Pole.

Despite the north pole being a fixed location in the Arctic circle, the Magnetic North Pole is a wandering location which changes year on year. But even if this was the case, it doesn't mean sudden volcanic outbursts or swarms of natural disaster clusters.

WMM helps to calibrate accurate geographical data for a host of consumer uses including compass apps, maps, and Global Positioning System services found on cellphones and other electronic devices.

The movement forced scientists to update the World Magnetic Model (WMM), which is used by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and militaries around the world, for its location. Updates to this system typically happen every five years, but the relatively rapid motion of the North Pole has necessitated an accelerated schedule for this update-which then ended up delayed by the recent shutdown of the US Federal Government.

"This out-of-cycle update before next year's official release of WMM 2020 will ensure safe navigation for military applications, commercial airlines, search and rescue operations, and others operating around the North Pole", officials at NCEI wrote in an update. Many are in the belief that it changes like the weather.

The pole has been the friend of navigators for millennia, beckoning compass needles from virtually every point on the planet.

Magnetic North has, over the centuries, moved more or less unpredictably into the archipelagos of northern Canada. Speaking at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in December, he suggested that the tumult far below the Arctic may explain the movement of magnetic field lines above it.

Earth's magnetic North Pole has been wildly shifting towards Russian Federation so quickly that scientists have been forced to publish an update on its actual location a year early. Most recently, it appears that magnetic north is shifting more rapidly towards Siberia, but that could change without warning at any time.

But, what causes Earth's northern magnetic pole to constantly shift?

Global Positioning System is not affected because it is satellite-based.

"Airport runways are perhaps the most visible example of a navigation aid updated to match shifts in Earth's magnetic field".

Also, migratory animals such as birds, butterflies, and whales use the magnetic field for directions.

The drift is caused by processes deep inside the planet, he said.

The World Magnetic Model (WMM) is a representation of Earth's magnetic field. Ciaran Beggan, a geophysicist at the British Geological Survey, told CNN that Earth's magnetic field, which is created in its liquid outer core, flows and creates an electronic current.

Why it matters: An unpredictable magnetic north is making it hard for high accuracy navigation systems to remain fully functional.

Like this: