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Friday, January 7, 2011 - 4:40pm
FLORIDA— It may soon be that compasses are no longer accurate, the North Star could be the South star, and Santa just may be lost.
Don't blame anyone just yet— the “North Pole” is merely changing.
The change is so critical, workers at two Florida airports are making changes to the Tampa International Airport and Peter O. Knight Airport. Robert Burr of TIA said one runway, number 36, pointed North at 360 degrees. But now, that same runway points 10 degrees north. TIA decided to repaint the numbers on the runway to match the pilot compass readings. Runway number 36 is now number 1.
Chris Connor, Ph.D., a Volcanologist with the University of South Florida, said that there's a magnetic pole which is produced by changes and or flow of iron in the core of the earth. Connor said the constantly moving molten iron creates a magnet on a planetary scale with a magnetic North and South Pole. He also said that the magnetic fields have been moving— what used to be in northern Canada is now in northern Siberia.
The last shift was more than 700,000 years ago, and some experts are saying it's time for the change. Every million years or so Earth's magnetic pole does a flip, and new poles arise in random places. After the poles are settled, South may be the new North and vice versa. Meaning that maybe the Aurora Borealis could be seen in Florida.