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

The World Magnetic Model (WMM) enables compasses to point north and is used in navigation systems. Its latest update revealed the North Magnetic Pole is wandering about 34 miles a year. It crossed the international dateline in 2017 and is leaving the Canadian Arctic on its way to Siberia.

This is causing a navigational nightmare for compasses in smartphones, boats and for airport navigators as well as in some consumer electronics, and WMM was forced to update a year early in order to keep it accurate.

Earth's north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast in the last few decades that scientists say that past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation. The World Magnetic Model was updated on Monday, showing it is wandering about 34 miles (55 km) a year
Earth’s north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast in the last few decades that scientists say that past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation. The World Magnetic Model was updated on Monday, showing it is wandering about 34 miles (55 km) a year

WMM provides a five year forecast of changes to the Earth’s magnetic field. The US and UK tend to update the location of the North Magnetic Pole every five years in December, but this update came early because of the pole’s faster movement.

It had been hoped that the updated model could be released even earlier, last month, but it was held up by the recent shutdown in the US government, which oversees the project along with the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Turbulence in in the planet’s core, where the motion generates an electric field, has caused the field to change in systems described as ‘akin to weather’.

Airplanes and boats also rely on magnetic north, usually as backup navigation, said University of Colorado geophysicist Dr Arnaud Chulliat, lead author of the WMM.

The military depends on where magnetic north is for navigation and parachute drops, while NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and US Forest Service also use it. GPS is not affected because it’s satellite-based.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6667057/Check-compass-The-magnetic-north-pole-move.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s