Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

The North Magnetic Pole Has Changed And It Could Cause Major Issues

Check your compass: The magnetic north pole is on the move The Magnetic North Pole keeps moving about and it could be a problem
Sandy Nunez | 06 February, 2019, 00:43

Location of the north magnetic pole (white point) and the magnetic declination (contour interval 2 degrees) at the beginning of 2019. This week, after a delay caused by the monthlong partial government shutdown in the United States, humans have finally caught up.

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. It's a minor change for most of us - noticeable only to people who are attempting to navigate very precisely very close to the Arctic.

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.

For example, the airport in Fairbanks, Alaska, renamed a runway 1L-19R to 2L-20R in 2009.

The magnetic north pole has been moving so fast that scientists on Monday released an update of where it really was, almost a year ahead of schedule.

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

Magnetic field of Earth.

Earth's magnetic field is now getting weaker, and scientists believe the poles could "flip" at some point in the future.

It has happened numerous times in Earth's past, but not in the last 780,000 years. It's leaving the Canadian Arctic on its way to Siberia. By the time the U.S. Army went looking for the pole in the late 1940s, it had shifted 250 miles to the northwest.

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Scientists first recorded the position of the northern magnetic pole in 1831. Since 1990, its location has remained relatively stable, off the coast of eastern Antarctica.

What is the Magnetic North Pole? This spot is affected by the flows of-of liquid iron in Earth's core and hence is susceptible to movement.

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

NOAA explained that the WMM is updated every five years, but due to the shift of the pole, scientists were forced to publish the WMM update a year earlier.

But Earth had other plans. North and south magnetic poles have traded places multiple times throughout history as shown from geologic observations, each change happening between 200,000 and 300,000 years apart. He and his US counterparts worked on a new model, which was almost ready to be released when much of the USA federal government ran out of funding.

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.

"Due to unplanned variations in the Arctic region, scientists have released a new model to more accurately represent the change of the magnetic field", a statement from the NOAA said.

Anyway, magnetic field reversals have typically unfolded over the course of 1,000 years or so - giving plenty of time for even the US federal government to adjust.