1) The magnetic pole is always moving, so airports changing their magnetic compass bearing labels periodically is a normal and periodic occurrence.
2) That said, the rate of change of the magnetic pole is actually increasing, relatively rapidly.
3) Yes, this may have something to do with the magnetic pole getting ready to "flip".
4) The magnetic pole flipping is also a normal and periodic occurrence.
5) None of this has anything to do with the recent deaths of blackbirds.
6) None of this is any special cause for alarm. But it does have important implications for our routine navigation, which I will address in detail later this afternoon.
ASSOCIATED PRESS -- Scientists say the Earth's magnetic north pole is moving, so officials at Tampa International Airport are relabeling its main runway to reflect the change.
Airport officials closed the runway until Jan. 13 to repaint numeric designators and change taxiway signs.
The runway has been labeled on aviation charts as 18R/36L, indicating its location along the 180-degree approach from the north and the 360-degree approach from the south. It will become 19R/1L.
The change was required by the Federal Aviation Administration to account for a gradual shift of the Earth's magnetic pole at nearly 40 miles a year toward Russia. It's being caused by magnetic changes in the planet's core.