Earth’s Rotation IS Slowing Down. But More Earthquakes? That’s A Hypothesis, Not A Fact
“However, there are many reasons to be skeptical. The connection between the changes in the magnetic field and Earth’s periodic slowing down appears to be correlative, but no causal link has been established. We are not certain that this mechanism is real. We’ve also only had approximately four years since 1900 that display this excess of earthquakes, and to predict that 2018 will be the fifth requires a rather large leap-of-faith. Finally, 2017 has only exhibited seven earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or higher: well below the 15-20 average. Statistical fluctuations are large, and even if we get 25-30 earthquakes next year, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Earth’s slowing rotation caused it.”
Predicting earthquakes has proven to be one of the most difficult scientific tasks humanity has ever taken on. Although the location — the where of earthquakes — has been relatively easy to predict on average, owing to our understanding of plate tectonics, the when of earthquakes has been thus far impossible. Since 1900, we’ve seen an average of around 15-20 earthquakes a year, but with large fluctuations. For example, even though powerful earthquakes have rocked numerous populated areas this year, there have only been 7, so far, of magnitude 7.0 or greater. Yet a bold prediction has just been made: that 2018 will see approximately 25-30 earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater, owing to the slowing rotation of Earth from 2014-2018. It’s based on a long-term correlation we’ve observed, but the evidence is far from concrete.
Still, any insight we can gain into the prediction of earthquakes would be monumental. Will 2018 be a disastrous year? Take a look at the evidence yourself!
The sights, safety, and science of the great american eclipse
“On August 21st, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur on Earth, traveling across the United States, coast-to-coast, for the first time in 99 years. From about 10 AM on the west coast until nearly 3 PM on the east coast, the Moon’s shadow will plunge portions of 14 states into total darkness during the day, blocking out the Sun and creating an experience unlike anything else on Earth. Over 12 million people live within the path of totality, and millions more will flock from all over the country and the world to experience this event: the first total solar eclipse over any part of the continental USA since 1979. What should you look for? What are the dangers? And what’s the science behind how they occur? Let’s find out.”
The great american eclipse is coming, and you’re in luck! This astronomical sight is unlike anything else that occurs on Earth (or any rocky planet in the Solar System), and there are three incredible stories that it teaches us about the world. First, there’s the incredible story about the Moon, Earth, and Sun in orbit, teaching us about our solar system, alignments, and even the curvature of the Earth. Second, there’s the story of the sights and what you’ll be able to view, from the Sun’s corona to stars and planets during the day to the Moon’s shadow gracing the sky. And finally, there’s the story of safety, and how to keep yourself from damaging your eyes, which is incredibly important since you won’t feel the damage until hours after you’ve done it!
Learn all about the sights, safety, and science of the great american eclipse, and get all the information you need to make the most of this incredible experience!