Saturday, 16 February, 2019

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

Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica The Magnetic North Pole keeps moving about and it could be a problem
Frank Williams | 06 February, 2019, 16:12

This week, after a delay caused by the monthlong partial government shutdown in the United States, humans have finally caught up.

As the magnetic field's quirks are dynamic, the model has to be updated, which is done on a five-year schedule. 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. "Airports around the country use the data to give runways numerical names, which pilots refer to on the ground", said the agency.

Earth's magnetic north pole has been drifting so much in recent years that scientific estimates are no longer accurate for navigation, prompting the National Centers for Environmental Information to publish updated information almost a year early. Only by tracking it, said University of Leeds geophysicist Phil Livermore, can scientists hope to understand what's going on. Ciaran Beggan, a geophysicist at the British Geological Survey, told CNN that Earth's magnetic field, which is created in its liquid outer core, flows and creates an electronic current.

It does not matter much in the most populated areas, but "near the magnetic pole, the change is faster".

It's a problem for organisations (such as the USA military) which use magnetic north for navigation, and it's now moving so quickly scientists are having to update their estimates ahead of schedule.

NASA said: "The last time that Earth's poles flipped in a major reversal was about 780,000 years ago, in what scientists call the Brunhes-Matuyama reversal".

The midnight sun shines across sea ice in the Canadian Arctic.

It is one of the three "north poles" on our globe.

When this happens, the polarity of the field will reverse and north will be south and south will be north. Geomagnetic north is the northernmost end of the earth's magnetic bubble or magnetosphere. Since 1990, its location has remained relatively stable, off the coast of eastern Antarctica.

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This map shows the location of the north magnetic pole (white star) and the magnetic declination (contour interval 2 degrees) at the beginning of 2019.

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

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.

But Earth had other plans.

Airport runway names are also based on their direction toward magnetic north and their names change when the poles moved.

Since the model is created and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States government shutdown delayed the release of the latest data set. This portion of the model didn't become available until Monday, a week after most NOAA employees returned to work.

Earth's geographic north pole is fixed.

"It has changes akin to weather", Lathrop said. Over large periods of time, they change their locations significantly, sometimes even interchanging their positions.

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