Earth Will Be Rocked By A Year Of Devastating Earthquakes
DEVASTATING earthquakes could be on the rise next year as the rotation of Earth slows down, scientists have warned.
The speed of Earth’s rotation fluctuates extremely mildly – extending or decreasing the length of a day by a millisecond – but this tiny deceleration could have devastating consequences.
Scientists have warned if the rotation slows it could lead to more major earthquakes.
Research from Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula looked at earthquakes with a magnitude higher than seven since 1900.
The duo found five years since the turn of the 20th century where there were significantly more 7.0 earthquakes – all of which were years that earth’s rotation speed had slowed down slightly.
Prof Bilham told the observer: “In these periods, there were between 25 to 30 intense earthquakes a year.“The rest of the time the average figure was around 15 major earthquakes a year.”
And in 2018, the Earth’s rotation speed is set to slow down leading to a jump on the six magnitude seven or higher quakes we have had this year.
Prof Bilham said: “The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year.”
“The inference is clear. Next year we should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes.”
“We have had it easy this year. So far we have only had about six severe earthquakes. We could easily have 20 a year starting in 2018.”
Exactly why a decrease in rotation speed can lead to more major earthquakes is unclear, but experts believe it could be down to changes in the Earth’s core which ultimately has an effect on the surface.
The team also could not say exactly where the earthquakes will occur, but Bilham suggests that a slower rotation speed will lead to more tremors on and around the equator – such as South America, New Zealand and other places that sit on top of the Ring of Fire.
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