Suraj Radhakrishnan – January 1, 2018
As the new year dawns on us, the first horrible news is already out for the year. Scientists are predicting a massive increase in the number of large earthquakes in 2018.
Scientists have found an alarming link between slowing seismic activity of Earth and an increase in the number of surface tremors. There are periods where minute fluctuations in the speed of Earth’s rotation cause a change in the length of days and nights. These changes add up and cause a period of measurably slower speed in Earth’s rotation around its own axis. It is believed these changes could trigger increased seismic activity.
A team of researchers from University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder found during the past 100 years, Earth’s slowdowns have correlated surprisingly well with periods with a global increase in magnitude 7.0 and larger earthquakes.
Usefully, the spike, which adds two to five more quakes than typical, happens well after the slow-down begins.
“The Earth offers us a 5-years heads up on future earthquakes, which is remarkable,” says Roger Bilham, professor at CU and lead author of study along with Rebecca Bendick at the University of Montana in Missoula in a study related released on journal Science.