The position of the Earth’s magnetic North Pole, which is used in navigation systems such as smartphones, is moving much faster than what it is doing, which makes scientists struggle to come up with a new model this week.
Magnetic North is the point at which the magnetic field of the planet points vertically downwards.
The global magnetic model is fundamental for maritime and military navigation, as well as for our ubiquitous smartphones.
It is normally updated every five years, but the calendar has been advanced one year “due to unplanned variations in the Arctic region,” according to a statement from the US National Environmental Information Centers. UU
The discovery of magnetic north in northern Canada dates back to 1831.
The wandering point, which moved above Canada and barely moved, now moves 55 kilometers (34 miles) a year, the scientists said.
The Earth’s magnetic field is generated primarily by the movement of the liquid iron that makes up most of the Earth’s core, 3,000 kilometers (2,864 miles) below the surface. That movement is what causes the magnetic poles to change, but the cause of the recent acceleration remains a mystery.
So the scientists of the American NOAA and the BGS of Great Britain have had to update their model before the deadline scheduled for the end of 2019.
“It’s a very slow movement, but it’s very real, and for several decades it can be of various degrees,” said Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA.
It does not matter much in the most populated areas, but “near the magnetic pole, the change is faster”.
The model allows to correct the direction indicated by the compass to find the geographic north, which is fixed.
Magnetic north has moved more or less unpredictably over the centuries towards the archipelagos of northern Canada. Since the end of the 19th century, it has been heading towards Siberia.
Since the 1990s, the movement has accelerated, through the Arctic Ocean, from about 15 km / year to 50-55 km / year currently.