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Also, the U.S. and United Kingdom tend to update the location of the magnetic north pole every five years in December, however, this update came due to the pole's faster movement. Any navigational changes will mostly affect the Arctic regions or, specifically, latitudes above 55 degrees. "The continuous shift is an issue for compasses in mobile phones and some consumer electronics".

The magnetic north pole is drifting about 34 miles a year. The point is moving approximately 55km every year and in 2017 it moved past the worldwide date line, the point of longitude in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is the crossing point between 11.59pm on one day and 12am on the next.

To keep up with the changing position, the WMM is updated every five years.

The magnetic north pole has been moving so fast that scientists on Monday released an update of where it really was, almost a year ahead of schedule.

Since 2015, the place to which a compass points has been sprinting toward Siberia at a pace of more than 30 miles a year. The military uses the WMM for undersea and aircraft navigation, parachute deployment, and more. Declination is the difference between true north and where the compass points to.

The magnetic north pole's movement over the past five decades.

So scientists from the National Centers for Environmental Information have rolled out an update to the World Magnetic Model, a year earlier than planned, to adjust the "unplanned variations in the Arctic region" which makes the existing magnetic north inaccurate. The Fairbanks airport renamed runway 1L-19R to 2L-20R in 2009. The last time it so happened, with the magnetic north pole getting somewhere near where the magnetic south pole now is, was about 780,000 years ago.

It could be thousands of years before the magnetic field reverses again, the researchers believe.

It might sound like something out of a Hollywood disaster movie, but the world's magnetic northern pole has changed.

Maintaining an accurate measurement of the north magnetic is especially crucial since the WMM is used by USA and British military agencies, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and smartphone technology, like Apple or Google Maps.

On Monday, NOAA announced the release of an update to the World Magnetic Model, a tool that tracks how the Earth's magnetic field changes depending on where you're located on the planet. Only by tracking it, said University of Leeds geophysicist Phil Livermore, can scientists hope to understand what's going on. The magnetic field changes due to unpredictable flows of the Earth's molten core.

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.


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