Earthquakes are among the high frequency natural disasters and have claimed millions of lives in the past couple of decades.
And now, in an alarming publication, scientists have concluded that the world will have to endure more of them in 2018.
The Geological Society of America held its annual meeting in October. Roger Bilham and Rebecca Bendick of University of Colorado and University of Montana, respectively came forth with their findings of awaiting disastrous earthquakes. They based their study on all 7 or more magnitude earthquakes since the beginning of 20th century.
Bilham told The Guardian, “The correlation between the Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year.”
According to them, discrepancy in Earth’s rotation speed could trigger a slew of earthquakes globally, especially in densely populated tropical areas.
Even a millisecond’s change in day length would result in enormous energy shifts underneath Earth’s surface.
The presentation discussed the theory wherein the slowdown will impact the planet’s ‘inner core’ which will ultimately affect the liquid outer core that hosts the tectonic plates forming Earth’s crust. The most vulnerable area is predicted to be along the Equator, where billions of people reside.
They found out a five years time period of massive seismic activity taking place about every 32 years and the last downshift was seen four years back.
Bilham explained, “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. It is straightforward; The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes.”
He further added, “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.”