Magnetic North Pole Shift Affects Airports

Santa Says He Can See Russia from His House

Brett Day, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Jan 7, 2011

If this keeps up, Santa may have to find a new home. News has surfaced today, that the North Pole has shifted, (well the magnetic north pole) and it is slowly but surely making its way towards Russia. At some point in the future, jolly Santa will be able to say "I can see Russia from my house" just like Sarah Palin. That’s all well and good, but what does this mean for us right now?

Houston We Have a Problem

The major problem this is causing right now, is that Planes that are flying, can actually get lost. Tampa International airport has just had to adjust the position of one of its runways, because of the shift of the magnetic north pole, They had to move it so that they could counter act the movement of the pole.

Planes and their technology rely on the earth’s magnetic fields to navigate around the globe safely. The shift this time has been so great, that Tampa International has had to close it’s main runway until January 13th, so that they can get everything changed, including taxi way signs, so that they can make sure the shift, has been accounted for.

How do the Poles Work?

The magnetic fields that the poles generate are made by movements within the Earth’s cores. Scientists do not know a whole lot about the process at the moment, so not everything is understood; however, they do know that the poles move a few degrees each year. The changes each year are usually so small, that airports and pilots that fly the planes do not need to worry about it.

Movements like the one here recently happy so infrequently, that scientista would not even take a guess as to how often it happens. Lorne McKee of the Geomagnetism division in Canada, explained that since the 16th century, the field has changed from 10 degrees east to 25 degrees west through the 19th Century. The field is now sitting at 3 degrees west.

It’s Nothing to Worry About

Both a Tampa International Spokesperson and Paul Takemoto, from the FAA wanted to clarify that passengers have absolutely nothing to worry about. Takemoto told Fox News “you want to be absolutely precise when it comes to compass headings.” “To make sure the precision is there, you have to make changes like this.”

Unsung Hero’s

It is good to know that there are scientists, geologists, and other professionals who look out for natural phenomena like this. It is their work that keeps us safe. While we go about our busy lives, not even contemplating things like magnetic pole shift, they are working in the background, potentially saving our lives. The next time you fly; have a quick think about all the people behind the scenes that make our mundane, and frustrating, travel experiences possible.

Let’s just hope for our kids sakes that someone informs Santa, so that he can adjust Rudolph’s nose for Christmas 2011, if not, at least he will still be able to see Russia from his house.

A good friend of mine said, “Maybe the poll shift is the reason for many millions of fish and brids dying in the last few days.” That is a good point, and maybe should be explored further. You can read all about that here:

Sources: Fox News

via Magnetic North Pole Shift Affects Airports – Associated Content from Yahoo! –

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