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posted by CoolHand on Wednesday December 27 2017, @04:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the shake-rattle-and-roll dept.

https://nypost.com/2017/11/21/earths-slowing-rotation-could-cause-huge-earthquakes-in-2018/

High-budget Hollywood disaster flicks love to make up weird natural phenomena to vaguely explain why a bunch of crazy catastrophes are about to threaten the very existence of mankind, but they're almost always complete bunk. Now, a new study featuring actual science suggests that 2018 could see a spike in huge earthquakes around the globe and it's thanks to the Earth's rotation slowing down.

The research, which was presented in a paper by scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Montana at Missoula, focuses on historic earthquake trends and seems to draw a pretty strong link between periods of slower Earth rotation and rashes of major quakes.

It sure sounds like a sci-fi plot point, but the science is based purely in reality. The study's authors plotted earthquake activity going back over 100 years and thanks to the wealth of data available they were able to determine that the temporary slowing of Earth's rotation seems to be linked to the most devastating and frequent earthquake outbreaks.


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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @05:21PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @05:21PM (#614795)

    Now we have earthquake proof buildings made out of rubber. And if we don't, we should!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @05:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @05:54PM (#614804)

      That would be cool... Until the rubberband snaps back and shoots you 30 miles into the next county.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by EvilSS on Wednesday December 27 2017, @05:57PM (1 child)

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 27 2017, @05:57PM (#614805)
      Unfortunately all the inhabitants died from blunt force trauma as their building shook them and their belonging around like a bounce house in a tornado. The buildings, however, survived and are expected to have plenty of office space and apartments available as soon as the blood is all cleaned up.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28 2017, @09:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28 2017, @09:45PM (#615275)

        their building shook them and their belonging around like a bounce house in a tornado.

        Oh, please have a camera rolling!

        The buildings, however, survived and are expected to have plenty of office space and apartments available as soon as the blood is all cleaned up.

        Infrastructure is costly to rebuild.* This way you just hose the place down, and ready to lease! Seven and a half billion people on the planet will fill that space in no time. I don't see a problem.

        *remember the neutron bomb?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28 2017, @12:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28 2017, @12:01PM (#615067)

      Time to invest in rubber bricks and rubber mortar stocks.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Bobs on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:12PM (2 children)

    by Bobs (1462) on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:12PM (#614814)

    Interesting.

    But only 100-years seems short vs. geologic timescales.

    Did not RTFA (requires $) but curious if they tried applying their model backwards several hundreds / thousands / millions of years to see it it matches up with the available data.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Ken_g6 on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:14PM

    by Ken_g6 (3706) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:14PM (#614817)

    It's their fault, isn't it?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:22PM (4 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:22PM (#614819) Journal

    It's time to outlaw fidget spinners.

    How does a planet temporarily slow it's spin?

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @10:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @10:47PM (#614900)

      It's time to outlaw fidget spinners.

      Or ship them to Australia where they speed up the Earth.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @10:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @10:57PM (#614906)

      How does a planet temporarily slow it's spin?

      My understanding is the lunar tidal forces pull on the outer portions of Earth, gradually slowing it down. It also causes the spin rate of the inner and outer layers to temporarily get out of sync, causing quakes due to the friction. Eventually they sync up, averaging out their difference. Thus, if you measure Earth's rotation based on the surface, it may seem to slow and then speed back up some.

      If you ever put smaller balls inside a big ball and spin it around, you'll observe some hurkey-jerky motion as it takes a while for the momentum to spread evenly. (See, I wasn't just goofing around then; I was learning about astrophysics.)

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by FatPhil on Wednesday December 27 2017, @11:16PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday December 27 2017, @11:16PM (#614914) Homepage
      > How does a planet temporarily slow it's spin?

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5b/Deviation_of_day_length_from_SI_day.svg

      So day-to-day it's occasionally possible, but in the long term friction always wins.
      --
      Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
    • (Score: 2) by Some call me Tim on Thursday December 28 2017, @03:28AM

      by Some call me Tim (5819) on Thursday December 28 2017, @03:28AM (#614972)

      You know that place in Utah where they bolt down solid motors for testing? Yeah, they need to point them in the opposite direction to speed us back up..

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:24PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:24PM (#614820)

    I wonder who's pushing this dung, I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:28PM (#614824)

      Your mom's enormous arse.

    • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:50PM

      by fritsd (4586) on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:50PM (#614831) Journal

      Khepri [wikipedia.org], the god of flaming balls of shit?

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:39PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @06:39PM (#614827)

    A useful subject of wide interest paid for by university and then hidden behind a paywall.
    To top it off, one of the author's topics of interest ins educating folks on these hazards.
    The authors are working hard to negate their efforts.

    So if there were going to be an interesting discussion here,
    what is it that makes the Earth sometimes rotate slower?

    Angular momentum needs to be conserved, so when it rotates slower, is the average mass at a larger radius.
    Perhaps after an eruption?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @07:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27 2017, @07:07PM (#614834)

      Yes. F*ck the authors for not posting on arXiv.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by anubi on Wednesday December 27 2017, @07:36PM (3 children)

      by anubi (2828) on Wednesday December 27 2017, @07:36PM (#614847) Journal

      This is to appeal to those of us who believe that paid stuff is better than free stuff.

      Most of us here already know that.

      And judge things by truth, not price.

      This is executive clickbait. Profitable.

      Note Frojack above took one look at it and posted the query about conservation of momentum.

      For free.

      Now, which has more value?

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Thursday December 28 2017, @01:30AM (2 children)

        by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 28 2017, @01:30AM (#614946)

        Now, which has more value?

        The ads on the page?

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by anubi on Thursday December 28 2017, @08:33AM (1 child)

          by anubi (2828) on Thursday December 28 2017, @08:33AM (#615036) Journal

          I typed my earlier reply on the phone... and I had to be brief because it takes forever and a day to post that way.

          The point I was trying to make was that report was behind a paywall, and some people will pay to see it.

          Frojack posted his quite insightful reply, for free, on this forum... bringing into question the science behind conservation of angular momentum. Pure science as seen by an engineer. Another embodiment of my tagline about testing all things and keeping that which is good.

          Just because one pays for something - does not mean its good. And just because it was freely given, doesn't mean it has no worth.

          Seems there is often little correlation between something's price and its worth.

          But, I have seen that there are folks who love to pay for things... useless things... because what they are really looking for are scapegoats. Their need is not for results, but they are looking to buy ass insulation. They are looking to show that they exercised "due diligence" in their job. They need to be able to show its someone else's fault.

          The people who are good at this can earn an order of magnitude more than those who have their "minds closed" to their perceptions of what known physics allows.

          On another thread, I posited my stance on Eagle's new DRM and licensing models. Some would call me a whiner. Some would gladly take what I volunteered on this forum as "market research", coming straight from the guy who was using their product. But often times, the decision maker would much rather pay for a professionally prepared market research report that has been custom tailored to what he wants to hear. That way, when sales don't pan out because the little people like me have been run off to alternative methods of doing our work, the business executive who made those decisions can blame the "disappointing quarters" on the market research reports, and all the highly paid people simply sweep it all under the rug, deduct their salaries and bonuses from operating expenses, and leave the investors holding the empty purse.

          While, all along, the information was posted, free. But the big guys seem to feel if its free, its worthless. Gotta pay so the one who got paid is accountable.

          --
          "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
          • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Thursday December 28 2017, @09:44AM

            by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 28 2017, @09:44AM (#615048)

            You just summed up why open source / free software can be such a hard sell in large companies. +1 Pony

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by WalksOnDirt on Wednesday December 27 2017, @09:27PM

      by WalksOnDirt (5854) on Wednesday December 27 2017, @09:27PM (#614877) Journal

      So if there were going to be an interesting discussion here,
      what is it that makes the Earth sometimes rotate slower?

      In the long run the Moon is slowing the Earth. The momentum is transferred to its orbit.

      In the medium run it is mostly glaciation changes. In the short term the causes include earthquakes and hydrology.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28 2017, @12:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28 2017, @12:34PM (#615072)

      Thermal expansion of the oceans is a factor.

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by legont on Wednesday December 27 2017, @07:35PM (1 child)

    by legont (4179) on Wednesday December 27 2017, @07:35PM (#614846)

    starting in 2018 as well http://notrickszone.com/2017/04/10/a-swelling-volume-of-scientific-papers-now-forecasting-global-cooling-in-the-coming-decades/ [notrickszone.com]

    We might get tough times and not where propaganda makes believe.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28 2017, @05:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28 2017, @05:04AM (#614992)

      Someone needs to science harder. In case you haven't paid close enough attention to all the commentary when "but its colder over here/there" is brought up. One possible outcome is all the heat will cause massive evaporation and thus cloud cover, clouds reflect a lot of light, thus reducing the incoming solar radiation. That is how you get the cooling. Look up "albedo".

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by bart on Thursday December 28 2017, @04:43PM

    by bart (2844) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 28 2017, @04:43PM (#615153)
    If you want some non-sensation seeking thoughts on the phenomenon: Earth's Rotation IS Slowing Down. But More Earthquakes? That's A Hypothesis, Not A Fact [forbes.com]
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