How Trump's government shutdown could cause navigation CHAOS: Updates to a system that monitors Earth's North Pole which is moving towards Siberia at 34 miles has been stopped in their tracks
- Scientists have been unable to post updates to a system tracking the changes
- Researchers are scrambling to update global models related to GPS systems
- Experts are still working off a 2015 model that grows more inaccurate every day
Victoria Bell For Mailonline
Models designed to track a shift in the North Pole have been able to keep up with its erratic behavior over recent years, scientists have warned.
Now Donald Trump's government shutdown is compounding the problem at delaying an update to the World Magnetic model (WMM)
WMM, which provides a five year forecast of changes to the Earth's magnetic field, is used by consumer and military GPS systems to navigate.
The system, last updated in 2015, is already out
Scientists have been working to issue an update before the scheduled scheduled forecast in 2020.
The initiative has been delayed, however, as experts have been unable to obtain an official stamp of approval from the US Department of Defense.
US government oversees the project along with the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, Scotland
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Scientists have been able to post vital updates from the World Magnetic Model, which cellphone GPS systems and military navigators use to position themselves. The charts are used for converting compasses to magnetic north and true north
Experts from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who lead the project, put together a new version in recent weeks.
The World Magnetic Model underlies all modern navigation, from the systems that steer ships to sea to Google Maps on smartphones.
About the last 30 years, researchers found the rate of distance that the magnetic north pole moves per year has sped up from around nine miles (15km) per year to 35 miles (55km).
Earlier this month, researchers said the magnetic field is changing so rapidly that they have to fix the model urgently.
The map is updated every five years to accommodate these shifts. The most recent version of the model came out in 2015. Mexico.
Financing for a quarter of federal programs – including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Agriculture – will not be renewed until a deal is done.
January 30 is only a tentative release date at this point, assuming the government reopens between now and then, "Arnaud Chulliat, a geomagnetist at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA who works on the project, said last week. 19659010] 'The World Magnetic Model is distributed by NOAA so we need to rebuild NOAA first before being able to release the new model,' Chulliat added.
The moving pole affected navigation, mainly in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada.
Armed forces from NATO, the US and the UK are among those using the magnetic model, as well as civilian organizations.
The charts, known as the World Magnetic Model (WMM), are used to convert compass measurements of magnetic north and true north.
They can be found in the navigation systems of ships and airplanes as well as geological applications – such as drilling and mining.
The WMM is also part of map applications in smartphones, including the Google Maps App.
Researchers from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintain the WMM
'Although GPS is a great tool for navigation, it is limited in that it only provides your position, "geodetic scientist James Friederich from the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency explained in 2014.
" Your orientation, the direction you are facing, comes from the magnetic field. "
'Our war fighters use magnetics to orient their maps.
'Your smartphone camera and various apps can use the magnetic field to determine the direction you are facing,' he continued.
'All of these examples need the WMM to provide your proper orientation.'