Hopefully We Dodge that Bullet By Brian Simpson
Geophysical doomsday events are an all-time fan favourite; anyone remember the prophecies associated with 2012? So, the Mayans were limited in counting. But, still:
It seems that the Earth’s rotation is slowing down a bit, and that will release energy leading to earthquakes, mainly in the tropics. Whew, that was a close one; go back to sleep now Brian:
“Scientists from the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Montana say that even fluctuations of a millisecond could increase seismic activity.
‘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,’ Dr Roger Bilham from the University of Colorado told the Observer.
Experts, who presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, do not know exactly why this happens but believe minuscule variations in rotation causes a shift in the shape of the Earth’s iron and nickel ‘inner core’.
During these periods the Earth’s mantle sticks a little more to the crust, which changes how outer core flows, creating a mismatch between the speed of the solid crust and the mantle.
This in turn changes the liquid outer core on which the Earth’s tectonic plates rest.
‘The mechanism we’ve come up with is that as the Earth slows down it’s like a skater spinning on ice. As the Earth slows down it’s equatorial diameter reduces,’ Dr Bilham told BBC Inside Science.
‘Its (the Earth’s) waistline gets smaller, but its clothes, the tectonic plates on Earth, remain the same size, which means they get rumpled up.’
‘These tiny changes to the overall shape of the Earth are enough, if there are faults that are already ready to go ... to kind of kick them over into failure,’ she said.”
The upshot of this will be, no doubt, a new round of refugees, this time geophysical refugees, flooding into Western countries. That itself, will make the earth quake.