Check your compass: The magnetic north pole is on the move


Also, the USA 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. The movement of liquid iron and other metals in the outer core of the Earth is known to influence the magnetic field, but this movement is chaotic and turbulent.

Earth's magnetic north pole has been drifting so much in recent years that scientific estimates are no longer accurate for navigation, prompting the National Centers for Environmental Information to publish updated information almost a year early.

Scientists first noticed the change in 2018 thanks to a "huge amount of satellite data", which showed the pole had gone beyond the model's predicted area, Beggan said.

Compasses are also impacted by the World Magnetic Model: These devices use declination (the difference between true north and where a compass points) to ensure navigation systems are correct.

Earth's magnetic field is now getting weaker, and scientists believe the poles could "flip" at some point in the future.

Some scientists think a jet stream of molten liquid is pushing the north pole, while others have suggested that the south and north magnetic poles are reversing positions.

It could be thousands of years before the magnetic field reverses again, the researchers believe. It has happened numerous times in Earth's past, but not in the last 780,000 years.

On Monday, February 4, the World Magnetic Model has found the pole is moving by an approximate 34 miles (55km) a year.

Scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British Geological Survey collaborate to produce a new World Magnetic Model - a mathematical representation of the field - every five years.

According to National Georgraphic, the system is vital for navigation, affecting everything from phones to commercial airlines and, if not adjusted based on the changes, could have major effects.

"Airport runways are perhaps the most visible example of a navigation aid updated to match shifts in Earth's magnetic field".

NOAA wasn't expecting changes to be needed until 2020, but the magnetic North Pole has apparently been heading further away from the Canadian Arctic towards Siberia at an unprecedented rate of 55 kilometers per year. And an overall weakening of the magnetic field isn't good for people and especially satellites and astronauts.

However, your favorite mapping app can not be trusted as the World Magnetic Model plays a role in Global Positioning System service.

"The dynamo of Earth's core creates a magnetic field that is slightly tilted from the planet's rotational axis". The sudden and dramatic changes weren't anticipated by WMM's previous update. Comparing it's predictions to real time measurements on the shifting magnetic field.

'Our war fighters use magnetics to orient their maps.