indianapolis - According to scientists, there will be a lot more heavy earthquakes next year because the earth is running slower. Every day a millisecond will take longer, with major consequences.
At the annual meeting of the American Geological Society of America in Indianapolis geologists Roger Bilham and Rebecca Bendick tell exactly what is going on. They have been studying all serious earthquakes since 1990. They found five periods with a lot of seismic activity. 'In these periods there were between 25 and 30 intense earthquakes per year,' says Bilham. 'The rest of the time, the average figure was about 15 major earthquakes per year. '
Because the rotation of the earth is measured very accurately with atomic clocks, the scientists found a connection: whenever the earth shook violently, the rotation time was also reduced. 'The conclusion is simple,' says Bilham. 'Next year we should see a significant increase in the number of heavy earthquakes. '
Do we get a disaster year? According to Bilham, that is not so bad, because the past year was actually pretty quiet. 'We have had it easy this year. So far we have had about six serious ones. But from 2018 onwards that can easily be 20. '
The earthquakes that respond to the rotation usually occur around the equator.