The Earth’s northern magnetic pole is rapidly travelling toward Siberia — raising concern for navigational accuracy.
It’s been moving away from the Canadian Arctic since 1831, at a slow pace, but the recent change in speed has prompted a closer eye from scientists, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The pole is now moving at a rate of 34 miles per year. Fifty years ago the rate was 7 miles per year.
“Due to unplanned variations in the Arctic region, scientists have released a new model to more accurately represent the change of the magnetic field,” the NCEI wrote in a press release Monday.
Scientists at the National Centers for Environmental Information were forced to update the World Magnetic Model (WMM) earlier than expected.
The model is created every five years and the current one expires in December 2019.
The out-of-cycle update, “will ensure safe navigation for military applications, commercial airlines, search and rescue operations, and others operating around the North Pole.”
NASA, the military, the U.S. Forest Service, and Federal Aviation Administration all use this type of technology.
WMM also provides smartphones with compass apps and GPS services.
However, the change in the new model will likely be unnoticed by it’s users.