Monday, February 11, 2019

Magnetic North Pole Moving Faster Than Expected

Updated map of Earth's magnetic field (NCEI map)
The magnetic north pole - to which compasses point and whose location is the basis for multiple navigation systems - has been on the move for years. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) normally released an updated "World Magnetic Model" every five years, which becomes the basis for adjustments to GPS and other navigation systems. The next update wasn't due until next year, byt NCEI scientists say the pole has been moving with unexpected speed away from the Canadian Arctic toward Siberia. As a result, they issued an "Out-of-Cycle" update for the first time ever in early February.

Changes in location of the magnetic north pole can have an impact on various aspects of amateur radio operation. CQ is planning to publish an article on those effects in an upcoming issue.