The North Pole right at the top of the planet remains fixed in place as the earth spins around its axis but the location the North Magnetic Pole is constantly changing in small but measurable increments. The actual position of the magnetic pole is tracked by an international consortium of scientists who contribute to the World Magnetic Model and they were supposed to issue a formal update in January. The magnetic pole has recently been shifting its position much more rapidly than in the past and its exact location needed to be established.
Unfortunately, the shutdown of the U.S. government for 35 days delayed that update because the U.S. scientists who contribute significantly to the model were bared for working. But, on Monday of this week, the World Magnetic Model is officially updated so all of us who need compasses to find our way–and that’s all of us–can rest easy. Read all about it in the National Geographic here.