The study revealed that although the fluctuations in Earth's rotation are very small-length of the day is changed by a millisecond-still it results in the release of large amounts of underground energy.
For the study, Bilham and Bedick studied earthquakes since 1900 that registered magnitudes of 7 or higher. Our planet has been slowing down, and 2018 might be a year when we have as many as 20 earthquakes magnitude 7 and above. According to a recent study conducted earlier this year by two American geophysicists, a slight change in the speed of Earth's rotation could precipitate a spike in seismic activity, meaning we'd be in for an increase in the number of major earthquakes in 2018.
A little more than a century on a planet that is more than 4 billion years old is not exactly a representative time sample, but Bilham and Bendick noticed something else about these volatile, quake-prone periods.
One of the scientists says we could see 20 earthquakes a year starting next year. The trends found by the Montana and Colorado researchers show most earthquakes happen near the Equator.
"The inference is clear", Roger Bilham, one of the researchers from the University of Colorado, told The Guardian.
While the rotational rate hasn't declined evenly, the average day has grown longer by between 15 millionths and 25 millionths of a second every year.More news: Donald Trump Responds to LaVar Ball's Comments
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Tropical countries would be at risk under this assumption, which has divided geologists and common people alike due to what it entails.
The Earth's deceleration has been slowly occurring over the past four years and 2018 will be the fifth year when it will all come to a head.
"It is important to note that the authors explicitly state in the abstract that the precise locations, times, or magnitudes of earthquakes can not be predicted, even if their observations and interpretations are eventually confirmed by other researchers".
The surge in devastating earthquakes, according to the scientists, is connected to changes in the speed at which the Earth rotates.
Specifically, mantle in the Earth's core might stick to the crust during these slow period. We still don't have a way to accurately predict earthquakes, but this might be the first step if Bilham and Bendick prove to be right next year.
When a day's length changes over decades, there can be a slight adjustment in the planet's magnetic field and both of these fluctuations may be due to the flow of molten metal inside the surface of the Earth, the Science Magazine explained. Earthquakes float on the Earth's crust, Quartz reported.