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Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:48 PM

Planet's erratic magnetic field forces emergency update to global navigation system [View all]

Source: The Independent

Planet’s erratic magnetic field forces emergency update to global navigation system

Unprecedented changes required to ensure accuracy of system that guides everything from aircraft to smartphones

Josh Gabbatiss Science Correspondent @josh_gabbatiss
9 hours ago

Earth’s magnetic north pole is veering towards Siberia at an incredibly fast rate, and experts are not sure why.

The erratic movement has forced the scientists tasked with monitoring the planet’s magnetic field to update their system that underlies global navigation, from Google Maps to shipping.

As liquid iron swirls around in the Earth’s core, the magnetic field – and therefore the poles – shift around gradually and often unpredictably.

Scientists must periodically update the World Magnetic Model to map this process, and the most recent version – produced in 2015 – was intended to last until 2020.

However, the magnetic field has been changing so quickly and erratically that while conducting a routine check in early 2018, British and US researchers realised drastic steps were needed.

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Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/magnetic-north-pole-moving-arctic-siberia-canada-earth-navigation-ships-a8724426.html

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