Check your compass: The magnetic north pole is moving faster then Expected

North isn’t quite where it used to be. Earth’s north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast in the last few decades that scientists say that past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation. On Monday, they released an update of where magnetic north really was, nearly a year ahead of schedule. The magnetic north pole moves about 34 miles (55 kilometers) and up to 40 miles a year. It crossed the international date line in 2017, and is leaving the Canadian Arctic on its way to Siberia. The constant shift is a problem for compasses in smartphones and some consumer electronics. Airplanes and boats also rely on magnetic north, usually as backup navigation. GPS isn’t affected because it’s satellite-based. Since 1831 when it was first measured in the Canadian Arctic it has moved about 1,400 miles (2300 kilometers) toward Siberia. Its speed jumped from about 9 miles per year (15 km per year) to 34 to 40 miles per year recently. Scientists to say that it will eventually flip, where north and south pole changes polarity, like a bar magnet flipping over. It has happened numerous times in Earth’s past. a flip is coming sooner rather than later because of the weakened magnetic field over the South Atlantic has already reversed beneath Earth’s surface. During the flip a compass will point in odd directions. This will affect birds and animals that use magnetic fields to navigate. And an overall weakening of the magnetic field isn’t good for people and especially satellites air travel and astronauts. The magnetic field shields Earth from some dangerous radiation……Ed
Source: Seth Borenstein / Photo:Ed McMahon

Posted in All Stories, Ed McMahon

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