Climate Donkey

June 19, 2008

Shaky Science: AP Hoaxed on Earthquake and Global Warming Study

Filed under: Climate Change,Media and Climate — climatedonkey @ 3:49 am
Tags: , , , ,

Cross post on Climate Audit

It appears the Associated Press needs to do some explaining or at the very least some vetting of its science reporting. Yet, it is a metaphysical certitude, no pun intended, that the story will be parroted regardless of its veracity.

There have been some attempts to link climate change to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other various geophysical phenomena. However considerable uncertainty surrounds potential mechanisms for such linkages as well as whether we can actually perceive or measure such changes. Recently, an obscure online journal publication (NU Journal of Discovery) article has made it into the press through a release by the author Tom Chalko, an Australian geophysicist. Here is a link to the 2-page published article: Chalko 2008 NU Journal of Discovery

The main finding is that earthquakes have become FIVE times more energetic over the past 20 years, a stunning discovery to say the least. A few hyperbolic statements from the press release:

The research proves that destructive ability of earthquakes on Earth increases alarmingly fast and that this trend is set to continue, unless the problem of “global warming” is comprehensively and urgently addressed…global seismic activity was increasing faster than any other global warming indicator on Earth and that this increase is extremely alarming

The pertinent figure describing the “alarming” trend shows the annual earthquake ratio, which is described in the paper. Also, the trend is predicted to grow in the future. A simple perusal of the USGS website would easily expose this paper as a complete pile of rubbish: Common Myths about Earthquakes h/t Jeremy Horpedahl

Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant throughout this century and, according to our records, have actually seemed to decrease in recent years…A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications.


If one looks prior to 1970, you see the true nature of earthquake energy.

Continuing from the paper:

Results presented in this article indicate that the main danger for humanity on Earth may come not from a slow climate change, but from the rapidly increasing seismic/tectonic activity. In the period of time when the planetary
climate changed by a small fraction of one degree, earthquakes have become 5 times more energetic. How long do we need to wait until someone brings this problem to our awareness?

I have no answer to that question. Thankfully, Chalko provides us with one reference and a hypothesis for this increased tectonic and volcanic activity. NASA researchers (Hansen et al. 2005, Science) state that the Earth absorbs approximately 0.85 +- 0.15 Megawatts per square kilometer than it emits, an imbalance that is causing the Earth to overheat.

Planetary interior overheating is the most serious consequence of so-called “global warming” and constitutes the main danger for humanity on Earth today.

I am unsure about the peer-review standards of this journal, but my guess is that it is a bit “shaky”. A simple Google search of the author leads one on a metaphysical search for understanding one’s consciousness.

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