The scientists at National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) at Asheville, North Carolina revealed that the northern magnetic pole of the earth is shifting rapidly.
This information was published on the official website of NCEI on February 4th, 2019.
The northern pole is moving constantly away from the Canadian Arctic toward Siberia. According to the survey done by the Canadian–French international collaboration, the Magnetic North Pole is moving at a rate of 55 kilometers (34 miles) per year.
This issue arose due to the movements in the North Pole along with other shifts in the core of the planet. The liquid churning in core releases the magnetic field and it depends on the changes in its flows.
In comparison to the North Pole, the magnetic South Pole is moving slower. As per the scientists, the magnetic field of Earth is getting weaker. This will lead the North Pole and the South Pole of the earth to flip over like a bar magnet.
The reversals of the magnetic poles of the earth have occurred many times in the past. Though from last 7,80,000 years, the earth has not faced any such reversal.
The flipping of poles might take 1,000 or more years due to the weakened magnetic field. This can hamper the navigation done by many species such as birds using magnetic fields to fly or migrate across the region.
The weakened magnetic field will affect the humans as well, especially the astronauts. The magnetic field of Earth helps to shield us from the deadly radiation in space. The area near the South Atlantic has already flipped its polarity down below the surface of the Earth.
This quick movement of the North Pole has made the scientists of NCEI to release the World Magnetic Model (WMM) early than the scheduled year.
The changes have been introduced in the World Magnetic Model (WMM) mid-cycle. The World Magnetic Model is a standard model used for navigation and attitude/heading reference by many organizations.
The WMM is updated every five years. The official release of the World Magnetic Model was supposed to be released by the end of the year 2019.
In the early days of the year 2018, the World Magnetic Model was facing the problem. The researchers from NOAA and other institutions were doing the scheduled annual check of the WMM model. Its inaccuracy was realized by the scientists as its acceptable limit were crossed leading to many navigational errors.
The new model has been generated early to precisely show the alterations in the magnetic field. It is because of the accidental differences that occurred in the Arctic region.
Daniel Lathrop, a geophysicist at the University of Maryland said, “The reason is turbulence in Earth’s liquid outer core. There is a hot liquid ocean of iron and nickel in the planet’s core where the motion generates an electric field.”
Lathrop added, “An overall weakening of the magnetic field isn’t good for people and especially satellites and astronauts. The magnetic field shields Earth from some dangerous radiation.”
The smartphone and electronics companies also trust the WMM technique to deliver accurate maps, compass apps, and GPS services to their consumers. This navigation system helps to match the changes in Earth’s magnetic field at Airport runways.
Due to the continuous shifts in the northern magnetic pole, many problems might arise for the smartphone or electronics companies along with other governmental institutions.
The compasses make use of magnetic declination to aid the perfect navigation structures for its extensive use. Magnetic declination is the angle between magnetic North and true North. This declination also changes over time at a given location. However, the unpredictable shifts in the Northern Polar Region of the Earth can create a problem for the users while navigation.
Heath Montgomery, the international airport’s former spokesperson, said, “The declination has changed just over 2.5 degrees over the past 22 years since Denver opened.”
The magnetic field develops as a result of random movements in the core of the earth. It grows within the 5-year of WMM planned releases. It is possible that the forecast of these values can be untrue due to the difference in the rate of changes in Earth's magnetic field.