The north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast that it could be a problem for smartphone maps and navigation systems.

The pole has been the friend of navigators for millennia, beckoning compass needles from virtually every point on the planet. And unlike the geographic north pole, which is fixed, the north magnetic pole has been slowly migrating over time -- moving across the Canadian Arctic toward Russia since 1831.

But its swift pace toward Siberia in recent years at a rate of around 34 miles per year has forced scientists to update the World Magnetic Model -- used by civilian navigation systems, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and US and British militaries -- a year ahead of schedule

Earth's magnetic north pole is hurtling toward Russia

Somebody's picture

Oddly, while there's been a

Oddly, while there's been a splash in coverage recently on this, I haven't seen anyone note the fact that - for the time being at least - magnetic north is now actually closer to geographic north than it's been since people started using compasses.

fischbobber's picture


I would have thought that that would depend on where you're standing.

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fischbobber's picture

That right there......

Is what I call good information. Interesting stuff.

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