Canadian Geographic
Left navigation image
Arctic and Taiga

Land of the two poles


The Arctic boasts a geographic north pole and a north magnetic pole. The former, the earth’s northernmost point, lies about 725 kilometres north of Ellesmere Island in the Arctic Ocean. Year-round ice covers the north pole. Recently, open water was observed there, possibly a sign of global warming. The north magnetic pole is more than 1,600 kilometres south of the geographic pole. Like its southern counterpart in Antarctica, this is the site where the earth’s magnetic field reaches maximum intensity. It is the point toward which all compasses point, and it is constantly moving — at an average rate of 15 kilometres a year. The map traces its ever-shifting path. In the 1990s, the magnetic pole was located on Ellef Ringnes Island, Nunavut; by 2001, it had moved on to 80° North 110° West; and by 2004 it was located at 82.3° North 113.4° West.










Synopsis

True north This self-running animation begins with an image of observation equipment on the tundra, then fades to an animated map that depicts the movement of the North Magnetic Pole through the Arctic Archipelago from 1831 to 2001.





















ADVERTISEMENT


On the next page:

The power of permafrost


Go now!  Go now!
Quiz :

During which of the following months are beluga whales not hunted in the North?

June
November
February