Sunday, April 13, 2008

‘Curious’ Cloud Formations May Signal Looming Catastrophe

This is pretty bizarre, but a pair of Chinese scientists are investigating whether or not “distinctive cloud formations above an active fault in Iran” are linked to magnitude 6+ earthquakes that have killed hundreds in the region, reports New Scientist.

Two months prior to earthquakes in 2005 and 2006, an odd gap appeared in the clouds above an Iranian fault line. The 2005 quake, a magnitude 6.4 killed 600 people. Chinese scientists speculate the cloud gap may have been caused by hot gasses seeping from the fault before a quake. The temperature along the fault was elevated before the quake as well.

If a link is found, we may be able to predict certain types of quakes along certain types of faults (at a minimum). But the predictions would probably never be completely accurate.

Pound360 wonders what you’re supposed to tell a population if predictions show a quake is imminent. Imagine the anxiety that would spread. Would the freeways, airports jam with people fleeing? What if the quake never comes and general anxiety lingers for months?

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.