Moving Magnetic Pole Has Tangible Effects

March 12th, 2011

EarthDid you know that the Earth’s north magnetic pole isn’t fixed, and it moves about 40 miles per year? In fact, several years ago it left Canada and is now over international waters, heading towards Siberia. And since compasses point “north” towards the magnetic pole (versus the real north pole) this movement can have a tangible effect on compass readings. For example, the Tampa, FL airport recently changed its runway designators to account for the changes to magnetic north. This NOAA article shows the locations of the magnetic pole from 1831 to 2007.

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