WASHINGTON — North isn’t quite where it used to be.

Earth’s north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast in the last few decades that scientists say that past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation.

On Monday, they released an update of where magnetic north really was, nearly a year ahead of schedule.

The magnetic north pole is wandering about 34 miles a year.

It crossed the international date line in 2017, and is leaving the Canadian Arctic on its way to Siberia.

The constant shift is a problem for compasses in smartphones and some consumer electronics. Airplanes and boats also rely on magnetic north, usually as backup navigation, said University of Colorado geophysicist Arnaud Chulliat, lead author of the newly issued World Magnetic Model. GPS isn’t affected because it’s satellite-based.

The movement of the magnetic north pole “is pretty fast,” Chulliat said.

Since 1831, when it was first measured in the Canadian Arctic, it has moved about 1,400 miles toward Siberia. Its speed jumped from about 9 mph to 34 mph since 2000.

The reason is turbulence in Earth’s liquid outer core. There is a hot liquid ocean of iron and nickel in the planet’s core where the motion generates an electric field, said University of Maryland geophysicist Daniel Lathrop, who wasn’t part of the team monitoring the magnetic north pole.

“It has changes akin to weather,” Lathrop said. “We might just call it magnetic weather.”

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