NOAA officials announced the World Magnetic Model, a representation of Earth’s large-scale magnetic field and an indispensable complement to GPS devices used by NATO, the United States and United Kingdom militaries, as well as civil applications ranging from mineral exploration to smartphone apps, has been updated.
Changes in the Earth's outer core trigger unpredictable changes in its magnetic field, an invisible force that extends from Earth's interior to where it meets a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun.
For example, during the last few decades the North magnetic pole has been drifting toward Siberia at an irregular speed. This migration can adversely affect the accuracy of navigation if not compensated for by an updated WMM.
“We know the Earth’s magnetic field is constantly changing,” said Stephen Volz, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. “But thanks to the environmental intelligence gathered from a wide array of platforms, including satellite observations, we can make vital updates to the World Magnetic Model and ensure the most accurate navigation for commercial applications.”