Geologists have long puzzled over anecdotal reports of strange atmospheric phenomena in the days before big earthquakes. But good data to back up these stories has been hard to come by.
In recent years, however, various teams have set up atmospheric monitoring stations in earthquake zones and a number of satellites are capable of sending back data about the state of the upper atmosphere and the ionosphere during an earthquake.
Last year, we looked at some fascinating data from the DEMETER spacecraft showing a significant increase in ultra-low frequency radio signals before the magnitude 7 Haiti earthquake in January 2010
Today, Dimitar Ouzounov at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland and a few buddies present the data from the Great Tohoku earthquake which devastated Japan on 11 March. Their results, although preliminary, are eye-opening.
They say that before the M9 earthquake, the total electron content of the ionosphere increased dramatically over the epicentre, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck.
At the same time, satellite observations showed a big increase in infrared emissions from above the epicentre, which peaked in the hours before the quake. In other words, the atmosphere was heating up.
The post also mentions alleged high tech warfare that could be causing the atmospheric conditions and earthquakes. But it also points out that earthquake lights were seen long before any advanced technologies were invented to allegedly manipulate atmospheric conditions. But then again, just because the conditions existed naturally in the past isn't alone necessarily proof that atmospheric conditions cannot be manipulated by man. People have been conceiving babies naturally for a long time too...but that doesn't mean a baby can't also be conceived in a test tube today.
Nevertheless, conspiracy theories about weather manipulation aside, I thought the post was a good read about science behind atmospheric conditions noted around the time of earthquake occurrences. Maybe one day we will even be able to predict earthquakes.
Read the whole post here.