Earth's Magnetic Pole is Quickly Moving Toward Russia, Models Say


The pole is moving about 34 miles a year, scientists say, crossing the global date line in 2017 on a journey towards Russian Federation. But the planet's magnetic north pole - the north that every compass points toward - is moving at a speed of about 55 kilometers per year.

The Earth's north magnetic pole is moving away from the Canadian Arctic and is heading towards Siberia in Russian Federation, said the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Daniel Lathrop, a geophysicist at the University of Maryland, said: "It's not a question of it it's going to reverse, the question is when it's going to reverse".

Compasses are also impacted by the World Magnetic Model: These devices use declination (the difference between true north and where a compass points) to ensure navigation systems are correct. 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.

"The slowly moving plates act as a kind of tape recorder leaving information about the strength and direction of past magnetic fields".

But, what causes Earth's northern magnetic pole to constantly shift? And while most scientists believe this shift will not lead to any catastrophic mass extinctions, the scenes may be frightening, looking something like the pictures of thousands of dead birds and fish in Arkansas in 2011, which some scientists thought may have been related to animals' sensitivity to changes in the Earth's magnetic field.

It might sound like something out of a Hollywood disaster movie, but the world's magnetic northern pole has changed.

The U.S.' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a statement Monday that scientists had updated the World Magnetic Model, used by smartphone and consumer electronics for maps and Global Positioning System services, ahead of time to account for unplanned changes in the Earth's magnetic field.

NOAA noted that the "military uses the WMM for undersea and aircraft navigation, parachute deployment, and more", adding that "NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and many more use this technology for surveying and mapping, satellite/antenna tracking, and air traffic management". If the mathematically expected location of the Magnetic North Pole is wrong, navigation equipment will be off kilter.

"The dynamo of Earth's core creates a magnetic field that is slightly tilted from the planet's rotational axis".

Unlike the geographic north pole, which is fixed, the north magnetic pole changes based on the movement of Earth's liquid core.

The Earth's magnetic field doesn't neatly line up with the geometry of our near-spherical planet.

WASHINGTON (AP) - North isn't quite where it used to be. It is also used by smartphone providers for Global Positioning System, maps and compass apps. Now the WMM has been updated, researchers are working to understand the changes.