Scientists had to urgently update the map of the world geomagnetic field

Scientists had to urgently update the map of the world geomagnetic field

Recently published an early edition of the world model of the geomagnetic field of the Earth (WMM) in almost a year of how the next one should be released. Previously, WMM, tracking the movement of the north magnetic pole, was updated in 2015 and planned to use the model until 2020. However, the north magnetic pole was surprised by the fact that it unexpectedly increased the speed of movement from the Canadian Arctic to Siberia.

Scientists constantly monitor the quality and accuracy of the model, comparing it with updated data. In 2018, it became clear that the error was growing relatively quickly, especially in the Arctic region. NOAA researchers immediately began work on updates. They collected the latest information on magnetic fields for several years and added to the model. This allowed to extrapolate where the pole will be in the near future.

Initially, they wanted to release the updated model on January 15, but the date was postponed due to the 35-day suspension of the US government. But all new updates are used only for 2019. At the end will release a new WMM for the period 2020-2025.

Scientists had to urgently update the map of the world geomagnetic field

The map shows the location of the north magnetic pole (white dot) and magnetic declination in early 2019.

Although the map will not be used for a long time, updates are still vital for all navigators, including those responsible for military, submarine and air navigation. The model relies on many agencies, including NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the US Forest Service, satellite and antenna tracking, surveying and mapping, and air traffic control. Even manufacturers of consumer electronics and smartphones cannot do without an accurate WMM model, since they provide users with maps, compasses, and GPS services. Already in the 1800s. it became known that the north magnetic pole is not a static point. But in the 1990s. its movement accelerated to 15 km per year. And in 2018, he stepped over the international date line and moved to the Eastern Hemisphere.

Interestingly, in the past few years, magnetic north has moved closer to true north. But even if he adheres to this direction, he will pass the geographic pole and again will go farther, to the Russian side.

How to explain this unusual behavior? Researchers point to unpredictable flows in the earth’s core. While scientists do not fully understand the movement. But one of the ideas is based on the fact that the high-speed jet of liquid iron under Canada spreads over time and weakens.

Most likely, the location of the north magnetic pole is determined by two large-scale sections of the magnetic field, located near Canada and Siberia. Now the Siberian point wins in a kind of tug of war.

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