Earth’s magnetic north pole is hurtling toward Russian Federation

Earth's magnetic north pole is wandering about 55 kilometres a year

Earth's magnetic north pole is wandering about 55 kilometres a year

A more serious possible effect of the "tug of war" between magnetic field patches in northern Canada and Siberia, which some scientists say is causing the accelerated movement of the magnetic north pole, is its potential to weaken the magnetic shield sparing earth from deadly solar and cosmic radiation.

Defined as the point on the Northern Hemisphere where the world's magnetic field points vertically downwards, the North Magnetic Pole moves over time, due to moving currents in the earth's core.

NOAA wasn't expecting changes to be needed until 2020, but the magnetic North Pole has apparently been heading further away from the Canadian Arctic towards Siberia at an unprecedented rate of 55 kilometers per year. Currently, the northern magnetic pole is moving from the Canadian Arctic towards Siberia.

The rapid movement forced scientists to release an update of the World Magnetic Model (WMM), or the actual position of the magnetic on February 4 - nearly a year earlier than expected - in order to allow navigational services, including map-based phone apps, to keep working accurately.

Global Positioning System isn't affected because it's satellite-based, but airplanes and boats also rely on magnetic north, usually as backup navigation, said University of Colorado geophysicist Arnaud Chulliat, lead author of the newly issued WMM.

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.

'It has changes akin to weather, Mr Lathrop said. To compensate, the US' National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the United Kingdom's Defence Geographic Centre have combined to build the World Magnetic Model.

Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado, has now warned the movement is occurring "pretty fast". "The magnetic field (changes) continuously, but it is partly because of its natural behavior", he added.

'It's not a question of if it's going to reverse, the question is when it's going to reverse, ' Dr Lathrop said. This spot is affected by the flows of-of liquid iron in Earth's core and hence is susceptible to movement.

When it does, it will not be like a coin flip, but will take 1,000 or more years, experts said.

That could bother some birds that use magnetic fields to navigate, and an overall weakening of the magnetic field is not good for people and especially satellites and astronauts. Everyday users of maps applications will never notice the subtleties caused by a misplaced magnetic pole, but submarines and aircraft do still rely on compasses in addition to newer technologies.

'Your smartphone camera and various apps can use the magnetic field to help determine the direction you are facing, ' he continued.

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