Magnetic north pole is drifting fast; military, NASA, airports, birds are affected

The Magnetic North Pole keeps moving about and it could be a problem

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

Smartphones and other electronic devices rely on the WMM to provide consumers with accurate maps, compasses, and Global Positioning System services.

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. The early update was initially scheduled to be released at the beginning of the January, but the government shutdown forced a delay. Currently, the northern magnetic pole is moving from the Canadian Arctic towards Siberia. The most recent update wasn't due until the end of this year, but unplanned variations in the Arctic region have spurred authorities to push for a new update sooner than planned.

But the north magnetic pole's inexorable drift suggests that something odd - and potentially powerful - is taking place deep within Earth.

If the poles flip, compasses will point south - and it could have significant effects on Earth's power grid (although it's not likely to happen immediately, despite doomsday-mongers' obsession with the idea).

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

The World Magnetic Model (WMM) enables compasses to point north and is used in navigation systems. "These currents tug on the magnetic field, sending magnetic north hopping across the globe".




"It's a very slow movement, but it's very real, and over several decades it can be several degrees", said Arnaud Chulliat, geophysicist at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA.

Many are in the belief that it changes like the weather.

"The magnetic field (changes) continuously, but it is partly because of its natural behaviour", he added. To compensate, the US' National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the United Kingdom's Defence Geographic Centre have combined to build the World Magnetic Model.

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

Magnetic North is always moving, but recently the movement has significantly increased in pace, although scientists don't really know why. Over the last 780,000 years, fossil records indicate that the poles have moved and switched a number of times, with no recognizable harm to living organisms.

The magnetic field is what causes compasses to point north and is a critical navigation aid for the world's militaries, commercial airlines, shipping and search and rescue operations. In 2017, he reported that the Canadian patch seems to be weakening, the result of a liquid iron sloshing through Earth's stormy core. It is not a question of if it's going to reverse, the question is when it's going to reverse.

Our planet's magnetic field has weakened 15% in the past 200 years.

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