The Earth’s magnetic field is behaving erratically as the north magnetic pole is moving from Canada towards Siberia. This forces the scientists to quickly adjust the world magnetic model.
The Earth’s magnetic field is behaving erratically and at this moment we do not know why. Since 1831 when James Clark Ross found the north magnetic pole on one of his journey the magnetic pole has been constantly moving. But recently it started moving more quickly than predicted and that could cause serious problems.
The movement of the magnetic field is described by the World Magnetic Model that is used by many different systems from GPS in phones up to complex navigational systems used during naval and aircraft transportation.
The Pole Has Moved From Canada To Siberia
The current version of the model was released in 2015 and was supposed to last to the next update in 2020. But the magnetic pole has been recently moving so quickly that we will need to update it earlier.
The Earth’s north magnetic pole has been moving from Canada to Siberia. In the middle of the nineties, the speed of the movement increased from roughly 15 kilometers per year to roughly 55 kilometers per year. This lead to the pole finding its way to the eastern hemisphere.
Currently, the location of the magnetic pole is controlled by two large magnetic fields – one under Canada and one under Siberia. And Siberia seems to be winning at the moment.
The Pole’s Movement Causes Problems
During a check at the beginning of 2018 experts from the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found the errors are so severe that the threshold values have been exceeded and could now cause problems for navigational purposes.
On top of that, after an especially strong geomagnetic pulse in 2016, the south magnetic pole moved towards South America – this has been detected by satellites that belong to the European Space Agency. This unexpected development has occurred at the worst possible time – right after the last update in 2015 so it isn’t part of the model.
What is important now to quickly update the World Magnetic Model. The NOAA is hoping that they will release the new version on the 30th of January. This update should be accurate enough until the next regular update in 2020.