KEY POINTS

  • Earth’s magnetic north pole shifting towards Russia
  • The pole moving at a speed of about 24.8 mph
  • World Magnetic Model, a base for navigation, updated ahead of schedule

A new research suggested that the Earth’s magnetic north pole was shifting toward Russia. The study on geomagnetism was conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  It released an updated World Magnetic Model on Dec.10.

A group of researchers at the NOAA, studying the changes and shifts in the magnetic pole, observed that the magnetic north pole of the planet Earth was shifting toward Russia at an increasing rate. The magnetic north pole generally aligns with the geographical South Pole.

The researchers applied the gathered data to form an updated version of the World Magnetic Model, a year ahead of schedule. The model is the base for modern civilian navigation systems and in some military services as well. It was usually updated every five years with the last update made in 2015.

The scientists stated the event was a periodic phenomenon in the history of the planet and had occurred the last time over 770,000 years ago. The shifting of the magnetic poles on Earth occurs once in several hundred years and the research suggested that the last reversal had taken around 22,000 years to complete.

The updated model of the magnetic poles depicted that the magnetic north pole was moving from its original position to Russia at a speed of about 24.8 miles per year and the scientists said the shift might continue its course at the same rate.

An author in the study and a geologist at the Wisconsin-Madison University, Brad Singer, told local media, “Reversals are generated in the deepest parts of the Earth’s interior, but the effects manifest themselves all the way through the Earth and specially at the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere.”

Singer added that the magnetic field around the Earth is created by the molten, liquid metal moving on top of the solid metal core. He said, “Unless you have a complete, accurate and high-resolution record of what a field reversal really is like at the surface of the Earth, it’s difficult to even discuss what the mechanics of generating a reversal are.”