Deadly Earthquakes Could Hit A BILLION People Next Year Because Of Earth's Slowing Rotation

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The prospect of an imminent doom hovers over us, scientists warn. A series of 20 deadly earthquakes is emanating next year due to the slowing of earth’s rotation. Scientists from the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Montana say that even fluctuations of a millisecond could increase seismic activity, although their research has been spurned by some scientists.

“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, asserted at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.
Swarms of devastating earthquakes are set to arrive next year due to the slowing of the Earth's rotation, scientists claim.


The tidal pull between Earth and moon is apparently the focal reason behind planet’s slow rotation. Little changes in the speed of earth’s rotation could trigger a drastic seismic activity, mainly in the tropical terrain, putting a billion lives at stake. Experts are not acquainted with what exactly causes these minuscule variations; eventually causing a shift in the shape of the Earth's iron and nickel inner core, thus, changing how the outer core flows by creating an alteration 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.
 
A car lies crushed by debris from the 7.3-magnitude earthquake in the city of Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran 
“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. “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.”

Researchers identified five epochs in the past century bearing comparatively more earthquakes than other times. They found a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 7 or above. 

Researchers said that with a significant increase in the numbers of earthquakes, we could easily have 20 a year starting in 2018. Many geologists are skeptical about the findings, alleging the correlation between earthquake and the Earth's rotation to be inadvertent.
A depiction of Earth's interior, showing the movement of molten rock, which makes up the mantle.

“It appears to be a conference presentation and very preliminary rather than peer reviewed research, so there is no detail for us to examine. However, if you go looking for correlations with other natural phenomenon, you will almost certainly find some interesting matches.” said GNS Science communications manager John Callan.

This research comes out just after when a 7.3-magnitude earthquake jolts Iran-Iraq border, claiming more than 400 lives, followed by more than 100 aftershocks. In addition, it is difficult to predict where these extra earthquakes will occur – although Bilham said they found that most of the intense earthquakes that responded to changes in day length seemed to occur near the equator.

About one billion people live in the Earth’s tropical regions. You can read the whole study here.

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