The Earth's North Magnetic Pole is moving faster than expected



Attention, anyone navigating a compass, are very serious shipping companies, aircraft or hikers: the North may not be where you think you are. The magnetic north, that is. Nature reports that the Earth's magnetic north pole has moved so fast since the last update of an official guide known as the World Magnetic Model in 2015 that scientists are jumping to update it again instead of waiting until 2020. The move should happen in Tuesday, but now will wait until January 30 because of the government's dismissal. It appears that the pole, whose movement is notoriously difficult to predict, is rapidly moving away from the Canadian Arctic on its way to Siberia much faster than scientists predicted three years ago.

The result is that the difference between the magnetic north – where a compass needle points – and the geographic north, or true, is larger than it should be, explains Living Science. Modern navigation systems use the World Magnetic Model to help adjust the difference between magnetic north and true north. The reason for the erratic movement is not clear, but everything has to do with the complex movements of liquid iron in the center of the planet. Not helping: Scientists have detected "an extraordinarily strong geomagnetic pulse" below South America in 2016, and that pulse may be a factor in the anomaly, according to IFL Science. Here's how a geomagnetist explains this Nature: "The location of the magnetic north pole appears to be governed by two large magnetic field areas, one below Canada and one below Siberia, the Siberian spot is winning." (Read more discovery stories.)


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